Only six per cent of adults in the UK are practising Christians, a new survey has found.
The Savanta ComRes poll of 4,000 adults defined “practising” as someone who attended church at least monthly, but prayed and read the Bible at least weekly.
It found that one quarter of those who were practising Christians were from black and non-white ethnic-minority groups.
Only 50% of respondents reported knowing a Christian, compared with more than two-thirds in 2015.
But 48% of those polled identified as “broadly Christian” when asked.
The figures were released as part of the Talking Jesus survey, carried out by Alpha, the Evangelical Alliance, HOPE Together, Kingsgate Community Church and the Luis Palau Association.
The survey also found that 45% of respondents said they believed in the resurrection; 20% believed that Jesus was God in human form; and 54% believed that Jesus was a historical person.
Non-Christians tended to have a largely negative view of the Church, although they had a more positive view of individual Christians whom they knew.
One quarter of non-Christians said that the Church was hypocritical and narrow-minded, while one in five had a more positive view of the Church as friendly.
But despite the gloomy figures the Christian organisations which commissioned the survey tried to put a positive spin on things.
The executive director of HOPE Together, Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf, said: “This research, that was first done in 2015, enables us to look over seven years and see trends that will help us strategically with church growth.
“It has significant things to say about the Church’s investment in the younger generations, gives us real hope for the future of the Church, and encouragement that now is the moment for evangelism and mission. It reaffirms that, post-pandemic, there has never been a better time, or more need, for us as Christians to invest in making Jesus known.”
The head of mission at the Evangelical Alliance, Rachael Heffer, said: “It presents good news both for the Church across the UK and for us as individual Christian witnesses. It goes to reaffirm that our non-Christian friends think well of us and like us, that there is an ever-greater openness to hear our stories of faith.”