Big UK decline in Bible ownership - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
November 22, 2004

Big UK decline in Bible ownership

-22/11/04

Far fewer households in the UK now own Bibles than was the case fifty years ago, according to a new poll carried out by ICM Research, a survey organisation often used by Government and leading charities and businesses.

In 1954 90 per cent of all adults owned a Bible, a figure now reduced to 65 per cent. Including households with children the decline is apparently from 98 per cent to 62 per cent.

However, belief in the paranormal is on the increase, with 42 per cent of people claiming to believe in ghosts, a 10 per cent rise over half a century.

The survey also indicates that there has been a significant growth in wealth, time available for leisure, technology use and extra-marital sexual activity.

Along with prosperity has come other changes in social mores. People are much less likely to ëmake and mendí than they would shortly after the last world war, preferring new goods to repaired ones.

The ICM research confirms that people in Britain are much better off materially than was the case fifty years ago, but other research has shown that wealth does not mean satisfaction ñ with significant increases in depression and youth suicide.

Those involved in Mass Observation research pioneered at the University of Sussex in the 1960s also point out that the lifestyle changes of recent decades were pioneered in the post-war years.

In February 2005 the British and Irish churches are due to publish a report entitled ëProsperity With A Purposeí. This will explores the theological and religious significance of historically unprecedented widespread affluence in some parts of the world today.

Big UK decline in Bible ownership

-22/11/04

Far fewer households in the UK now own Bibles than was the case fifty years ago, according to a new poll carried out by ICM Research, a survey organisation often used by Government and leading charities and businesses.

In 1954 90 per cent of all adults owned a Bible, a figure now reduced to 65 per cent. Including households with children the decline is apparently from 98 per cent to 62 per cent.

However, belief in the paranormal is on the increase, with 42 per cent of people claiming to believe in ghosts, a 10 per cent rise over half a century.

The survey also indicates that there has been a significant growth in wealth, time available for leisure, technology use and extra-marital sexual activity.

Along with prosperity has come other changes in social mores. People are much less likely to ëmake and mendí than they would shortly after the last world war, preferring new goods to repaired ones.

The ICM research confirms that people in Britain are much better off materially than was the case fifty years ago, but other research has shown that wealth does not mean satisfaction ñ with significant increases in depression and youth suicide.

Those involved in Mass Observation research pioneered at the University of Sussex in the 1960s also point out that the lifestyle changes of recent decades were pioneered in the post-war years.

In February 2005 the British and Irish churches are due to publish a report entitled ëProsperity With A Purposeí. This will explores the theological and religious significance of historically unprecedented widespread affluence in some parts of the world today.

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