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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Easter polls show that most Britons aren't interested in religion

Posted: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:40

Easter polls show that most Britons aren't interested in religion

An Easter Saturday YouGov poll for The Sun, in which a representative sample of 1,742 adults aged 18 and over was interviewed online, found that 31% of respondents thought schools should have religious assemblies, while16% said that they should not be allowed. The largest group (48%) wanted schools to be able to decide for themselves (a proposal put forward by the NSS during the passage of the Education Bill, now Act, but rejected by the Government). 5% expressed no opinion.

56% of Britons agreed that people should have the right to wear religious symbols at work (the question was asked despite the fact that right already exists except in very limited circumstances). Only 11% disagreed, with 24% feeling that it is for employers to decide, and 9% uncertain.

Easter's religious meaning is important to only 17% of Britons, while 43% said it was important to spend time with family and friends – and only 2% nominated the exchange of Easter eggs.

79% of respondents had no plans to go to church over the Easter period, 16% thought they might (three-quarters of them on Easter Sunday), with 5% uncertain. On previous form it is highly unlikely that the intentions of the 16% were translated into reality.

Weddings and funerals excluded, 12% claimed to be regular (monthly or more) churchgoers ordinarily, with 20% going very occasionally and 66% never or less than once a year.

54% said they never prayed while 19% claimed that they prayed on a daily or near-daily basis. 45% were adamant that prayer is ineffective while 31% believed that prayer actually works, with 24% unsure.

87% considered Britain to be less religious than fifty years ago.

In another Easter-related poll released by Travelodge, (which interviewed 5,000 Britons) 40% said they had no interest in the religious side of Easter and an incredible (and we mean that literally) 28% said they would observe Good Friday as a fast day. 82% had no intention of going to church. 53% of children did not know the meaning of Easter, and one-quarter thought it was about celebrating the Easter Bunny's birthday.

Tags: Statistics, Religion & Belief