Churchgoing Christians in the UK have a strong campaigning streak, according to a ComRes Cpanel poll commissioned by Premier Christian Media and published on 1 August. Online interviews were conducted with 529 Christians aged 18 and over on 6-18 July 2011.
Asked how important they considered various socio-religious issues to have a campaign on, the number of Christians replying ‘very important’ or ‘important’ ranged from 85% on abortion to 95% on parenting and the family.
93% each opted for campaigns on care of the elderly and freedom of religious expression, 92% for marriage, 91% for the persecuted Church, and 87% for lobbying on euthanasia or assisted suicide.
A press release accompanying the survey, and the basis for a report in the Church of England Newspaper for 5 August, claimed that ‘it revealed a staggering gulf between what young and older generations of believers regard as issues of importance.’
In particular, ‘pro-life and end of life issues were of greater concern to young people aged between 18-34 years compared with those over the age of 65’, whereas ‘youth related issues were of greater concern to over 65s compared to young people (under 35s)’.
However, these differences emerged when considering only those who said ‘very important’ in relation to each issue. If the figures for ‘very important’ and ‘important’ are summed, then the age margins narrow considerably.
In terms of gender, the single most notable variation was over attitudes to abortion, 79% of male and 91% of female Christians regarding it as very important or important to campaign on this topic. There were smaller gaps (84% versus 92% and 89% versus 95% respectively) on euthanasia and marriage.
Breaks were also provided by region, denomination and churchmanship, but individual cell sizes are too small to permit meaningful analysis. There was likewise disaggregation for those in a church leadership role, attendees at Alpha courses, and members of a Christian organization.
The data tables are available to download, but – for some unexplained reason – they do not include the answers about campaigns on youth work and young people in prison. The tables will be found at: