A survey of Christians in the U.K. found that the majority do not express a strong belief in “traditional” Christian tenets, such as God or everlasting life. Instead, British Christians were more likely to believe in concepts such as ghosts or aliens than in God or the Devil, according to Christian Today.
The survey, which was conducted by British polling organization YouGov, used a sample of 12,000 people who identified as Christians, and a separate group of 39,000 British people who represented the entire U.K. population. The poll emphasized that Christianity in this context was more of a cultural group than an expression of faith, as demonstrated by the data that showed many people called themselves Christian but didn’t go to church.
The study found that a minority of Christians -- 41 percent -- said that they believed in a Creator, while 18 percent said they definitely did not. Even fewer -- 36 percent -- said that they believed in an everlasting soul, and only 27 percent said that they believe in Hell. And while 24 percent of Christians said they believed in the Devil, 30 percent said that they believed in alien life.
The results of the study are part of a larger phenomenon of de-Christianization in the U.K., which has seen the number of citizens who identify with no religion rise from 31 percent in 1983 to just under 50 percent in 2015, according to YouGov. A study by the Pew Research Center estimated that by 2050, the percentage of the U.K. population that identifies as Christian will approach 45 percent, down from 64 percent in 2010. Correspondingly, the proportion of the population that claims no religion will rise from 28 percent to 39 percent over the same time period.
At the same time, the proportion of religions other than Christianity has grown over the past few decades, and is predicted to grow even more in the future. The proportion of Muslims in the U.K. population will rise from 5 percent to 11 percent between 2010 and 2050, according to the BBC.