Admittedly, living in certain countries like North Korea, Iraq or Iran, as a Christian is substantially more challenging than being a Christian in the UK. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park.
Despite being located in Western Europe, one of the foundational regions for the modern Christian faith, it can be hard for followers to lead a spiritual life Britain. This is precisely why a growing number of British Christians feel marginalized in their own country.
According to a Christian Post report on a survey conducted by Premier Christian Communications entitled “State of Faith”, the poll found some 93% of surveyed Christians believe that Christianity is being marginalized in the UK. Another 50% felt they had personally experienced prejudice as a direct result of their faith.
These results are in spite of the UK’s policies that claim acceptance and tolerance of all religions. Some 80% of Christians polled said they believe “Christianity is not given equal respect,” and another 26% felt they were not welcome to speak about their faith in various environments, including their places of business.
Premier’s survey polled 12,000 Christians who defined themselves as “ordinary Christians.” This fact is particularly unsettling according to the CEO of Premier Christian Communications Peter Kerridge. He said the following about the results of his company’s poll:
“This survey clearly indicates how it feels to be an ordinary Christian today. This is not the clergy talking, or academics theorizing, or politicians making a case. These are ordinary Christians who feel overwhelmingly that their Christian beliefs are being marginalized and that as a result, it is becoming far more difficult to live as a person of faith in the UK.”
He went on to say that, “It’s clear that the UK does not have the liberal, accepting society that it believes it does if we don’t tolerate and accept everyone, including Christians.”
Real Life Examples
Last year, Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford fired a nurse after some patients complained saying she had engaged them in “unwanted discussions” where she shared with them about her personal faith and offered to pray with them.
Another incident involved two street preachers who were convicted of disorderly conduct and fined simply for speaking out about Islam and homosexuality at a public shopping center. Thankfully, they won an appeal at a later date.
The UK’s education watchdog group Ofsted has also been downgrading a number of Christian schools claiming they don’t do an adequate job educating students on other religions besides Christianity. They also disagree with the school’s teaching regarding homosexuality.
Finally, and perhaps the most telling was the recent resignation of Liberal Democratic leader Tim Farron. He resigned saying it was impossible to remain a leader in the party and stay true to his Christian beliefs.
“We are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society,” he said.
What This Means for Christians in America
While American Christians face marginalization as well, believers in the United States are still a ways from the issues Christians in the UK face on a daily basis. California evangelist Greg Laurie said the following about how close Christians in America might be to facing similar issues to those believers in the UK if things don’t change:
“I think we can look at Europe as maybe a model. Europe has become so concerned with political correctness and has moved to what is often described as a ‘post-Christian’ state, where church attendance is at an all-time low. I think if the people of the UK and Europe in general would turn to God, they would find strength and truth that would help them in the battle against terrorism and their cultures in general.”
He went on to add the following:
“So I think they are further down the road than we are. I hope we don’t go down that road because America is great because America has been good, as it has been said. But really that goodness is a result of our faith. I think if we stay close to that faith, not just faith in any god but faith in the God of the Bible, we will be stronger for it. The more we stray from that faith, the weaker that we’ll become. The Bible says, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to the people.’”
It is important for all Christians to learn from the mistakes of the British government and its culture. Thankfully, there is still time as this country hasn’t reached the level of marginalization that is commonplace in the UK. Hopefully, it never will reach that level if all believers join together to prevent marginalization.
~ 1776 Christian