Saturday, January 15, 2011

Evangelical trends in the UK

New research just published by the Evangelical Alliance makes for interesting reading.

The main points that stand out to me:

  • 90% of evangelicals in the UK believe in continuing miraculous gifts of the holy spirit.
  • Young earth creationism is not growing in popularity amongst evangelicals. Only 39% of evangelicals believe that Christianity and evolution are incompatible.
  • 94% of evangelicals agree that it is Christians duty to care for the environment.
  • 7 out of 10 evangelicals believe, to some extent, that Christians should work collaboratively with people of other faiths on community projects.
  • The younger generation of evangelicals (those under 40) read the bible less than those who are older, but they take a harder line on moral issues than the older generation.
  • Younger evangelicals are more likely to believe in a literal hell with eternal punishment than older evangelicals.

It also confirms my own anecdotal evidence, that:

  • The popularity of creationism has peaked.
  • Evangelicalism is less erudite, less expository and more experiential.
  • Charismatic pentecostalism has become the mainstream in evangelicalism in Britain rather than US style biblical fundamentalism.

The two big surprises are the apparent interest in interfaith work (enough for it not to be a statistical anomaly) and the lack of emphasis on foreign mission work, which was previously a touchstone of evangelical practice in Britain.

Summary of the research here:

Link to the full research report here (PDF file):