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New poll shows a crisis of confidence amongst Christians in Britain

New polling commissioned by the Institute for the Impact of Faith in Life (IIFL) reveals Christians in Britain are less confident in speaking only about their religious beliefs than most other faith groups.

The survey of 2,064 UK adults, carried out by Whitestone on the 1st and 2nd of May 2024, showed that 38% of Christians prefer not to tell people about their faith, compared to 29% of Muslim respondents and the highest of all faith groups except for Jews (also at 38%). When presented with the statement, “I prefer not to tell people about my faith or religious beliefs,” only 50% disagreed – the lowest of all faith groups. 

Moreover, only 28% of Christians were Exclusivist, believing Christianity to be the only true religion, compared to 83% of Muslims, indicating high levels of cultural Christianity amongst this group in the UK.

Meanwhile only 50% of Christians say their faith helps them to find a purpose in life – lower than Muslims (88%), Hindus (70%) and Buddhists (80%). Only Jews and Sikhs were lower, at 33% and 19% respectively. However, when looking at Exclusivist Christians, this increases to 87%. 

Christians were also least likely to have changed faith in their life, at just 10%, suggesting that Christianity is receiving the least converts. However, when looking at Exclusivist Christians (those who say they believe their faith to be the only true religion) this figure nearly doubles to 18%.

There is also a generational decline in appreciation across all faith groups (and none) for the role that Christian heritage plays in British culture in the wider population, with only 46% of 18-24 year olds believing it is an important aspect, compared to 74% of over 65s. 

For any further information or commentary on the report, please contact Dr Jake Scott, secretary for the Institute.
Dr Jake Scott
+44 (0) 7490 190 652

Notes for editors:

  • Whitestone Insight interviewed 2,064 UK adults on-line between 1st and 2nd May 2024. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults. Whitestone Insight is a member of the British Polling Council (BPC) and abides by its rules.
  • IIFL is a research forum examining the role that faith and religious belief plays in the lives of people in the UK, whether at work, at home, or in the community. 
  • Respondents were surveyed on their views towards faith and seven different areas of British life:
    • Personal faith
    • Faith in public life
    • Faith in education
    • Faith literacy
    • Faith in the media
    • Faith in public life over time