Religious Education in Schools

Fewer than one in seven Britons believe that religious education (RE) should not be taught at all in schools, and the proportion does not rise beyond 24% even for those who do not belong to a religion or 28% among persons describing themselves as not at all religious.

The finding – yet another contribution to the ongoing debate about whether Britain is or should be a ‘Christian country’ – comes from a YouGov survey undertaken online on 22 and 23 February 2012 among a sample of 1,690 adults aged 18 and over. Results were posted on the internet on 8 March at:

At the other end of the spectrum, a mere 6% argued that RE in schools should be solely about Christianity, with 10% being the largest figure for any demographic sub-group (the over-60s).

However, a further 42% thought that RE in schools should be primarily about Christianity (the legal position), albeit with coverage of other faiths. The proportion developed into an absolute majority among Conservative voters (52%), the over-60s (53%), professing Christians (65%), and the very or fairly religious (58%).

Just under one-third (31%) wanted RE in schools to teach about all the major world faiths equally. This was especially the view of Liberal Democrats (45%), the young (48% for the 18-24s, 43% for the 25-39s), Londoners (39%), and the religiously unaffiliated (39%). 7% elected for none of the foregoing options or expressed no opinion.


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