The Meaning of Easter in 21st Century Britain: Chocolate not Christianity
As we celebrate Easter, the most important Christian festival, survey research data makes it clear that our knowledge and practice of Christianity is in full decline.
Much of the evidence for this is accessible via the AMSR archive*, revealing for instance that:
- According to an ORC Poll conducted in 1968, 80% of British adults believed there is a God, but according to You Gov in 2016 this had declined to 28%
- Likewise, the 1968 ORC Poll found that 85% believed Jesus Christ was the son of God; You Gov found that by 2013 this had declined to 27%.
This translates into declining church attendances: as recorded in MORI’s British Public Opinion Digest, Gallup found in 1939 that 68% claimed to attend a church regularly or occasionally; by 1993 this had declined to 32%, and by 2015 only 5% were attending on a typical Sunday.
The result is that at Easter time God is in retreat, and from separate research we find that a new religion has become dominant: according to The Independent, 65% think of chocolate when asked about Easter, while only 12% think of Jesus.
Clearly, in celebrating Easter we have become a heathen, chocoholic nation.
*The AMSR contains a wide range of valuable material that is free to access and this may be found under ‘Reports of Projects’, or by clicking on this direct link to the archive (link to the archive contents will open as a separate page).