Yesterday (Holy Saturday) brought depressing news from the Disunited Kingdom, a.k.a. Once-great Britain. A survey done by pollsters ComRes revealed that more than two-thirds of British Christians feel they are now part of a "persecuted minority".
And guess who the persecutors are? Not Romans and Jews, as in the time of Jesus, or even Muslims, but the promoters of what the polling firm calls "aggressive secularism", which churchgoers increasingly feel threatens freedom of religion.
In the UK, even more than in the USA and Canada, court rulings against people who want to wear crosses at work, and legal action preventing prayers before council meetings, have combined with a persistent anti-religious bias in the press to make Christians feel marginalized.
Adding fuel to the flames of resentment is the British Government's decision to legalize "marriage", in spite of the opposition of the Church -- including, in a half-hearted way, the Church of England -- and a significant chunk of popular opinion.
According to the PressTV article on the poll, if the march of secularism continues unabated, by 2030 Britain will no longer be a Christian country. By that date, there will be more non-believers than Christians. Why, because immigrants from Asia keep their faiths, and "born Christians" (as opposed to "born-again Christians") don't.
In the past six years, the report says, the number of Muslims has surged by 37% to 2.6 million. Hindus have increased their numbers by 43%, and Buddhists by a massive 74 per cent. Meanwhile, people who choose to call themselves Christians declined in number by more than 4 million between the censuses of 2001 and 2011. In the latter census, fewer than 60% of all residents of the UK described themselves as Christian. That's down from 72% in 2001.
A former Archbishop of Canterbury -- head of the so-called Anglican Communion -- has a comment on the role of Britain's government in the decline of Christianity in his country. Walt will be posting a précis later today.