Browsing through Google News I cam across this story talking about the appointment of a new Head of Religion and Ethics. Now I’ve never heard of Ekklesia, but they claim to be a Think-tank that promotes transformative theological ideas in public life, so I wasn’t expecting much. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.
The author does manage to present what to me was a fair and balanced view, and they’re almost calling for a non Christian to fill the post to inject some new vigour into the system.
However, there was one statistic near the end that I just couldn’t ignore:
…and that almost 50 per cent of Christians in the UK are not white.
Huh? That’s excellent news. But not for the reasons the author probably intended.
So I went off and quickly found this article on the BBC that discusses the last UK census (2001) and how it breaks down by ethnicity. The figures show that England is just over 91% white, with only 3 other groups managing to get over 1% (4.4% South Asian, 2.2% Black, and 1.4% mixed race).
Let’s quickly do the maths. If 50% of Christians are not white, then the maximum that that 50% can be as a proportion of the whole English population is just under 9% (i.e. all non whites are Christians, which is patently false). Which means that at most the total percentage of Christians in England is under 18%. Less than 1 in 5! Better put them on the endangered species list.
More likely though is that the authors source is a bit suspect – but given that they didn’t mention the source it’s hard to judge.
Ah well, the day-dream was nice whilst it lasted.
N.B. In case you think that by just focussing on England rather than Great Britain (which includes Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales for those that don’t know the difference), the figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland show even higher percentages of whites (98% and 99% respectively), so using England was a ‘best case’ scenario.