Broad support for David Cameron's view of Britain as a Christian country


Over half of the population believes Britain is a Christian country, according to a new poll for The Sunday Telegraph.

Some 56 per cent of the 2,000 surveyed agreed with David Cameron's assertion, compared to just under a third (30 per cent) who said Britain was a non-religious society.

Men (60 per cent) and the over 65s (73 per cent) were more likely than women (53 per cent) to agree with the Prime Minister.

The poll also asked people whether they felt Christians were being afforded the same protection for their beliefs by the state in Britain as believers in other religions.

Overall, 48 per cent said Christians were being given less protection, compared to 28 per cent who said they were receiving the same protection.

Of practising Christians, 56 per cent said they were receiving less protection, as opposed to 32 per cent who said they were receiving the same.

Non-practising Christians were the most likely to say Christians were receiving less protection (62 per cent), compared to only 23 per cent who said they were receiving the same protection.

The poll also revealed some reluctance on the part of Christians to share their beliefs. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that Christians are afraid to express their beliefs because of the rise of religious fundamentalism, half of all respondents agreed.

This figure rose among practising Christians to 62 per cent, and among non-practising Christians to 61 per cent. Non-religious people were evenly split, with the percentage agreeing and disagreeing at 40 per cent each.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview accompanying the new findings that Britain's "cultural memory" was "quite strongly Christian".

However, he suggested it was more accurate to think of the country as "post-Christian", as habitual practice of the faith for most of the population "is not taken for granted".

"A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers, and we are not that," he said.