Friday, February 17, 2012

Journal Entry #16 - 2/17/12

So it's been fun doing more research about Christianity in the United Kingdom today. Yesterday I found a wonderfully thorough study about Christian Attitudes in the UK that appears to be at least as good as the British Social Attitudes Survey. I haven't had time to go through the entire thing yet, but what I have found is extremely interesting, and shows the same patterns of support for Christian values and beliefs that the Social Attitudes Survey found. However, this second study goes into more detail in survey questions about what Britons actually believe in terms of support for gay marriage, whether they have read the Bible or not, how often they pray, etc. It's a great resource.

At the same time I've done some more research to find what influential people or institutions in the UK say about religion. I found great website called The Way, which is a completely nondenominational website that brings common Christian beliefs under a common heading. It even has a search engine for you to find any Christian church within the United Kingdom, the address, phone number, etc (except I noticed the LDS church was not listed). I watched half of one of the videos posted there outlining basic Christian doctrine and the importance of following Christ, keeping the commandments, and how to be forgiven. It was an extremely well made video and was simple and informative without being condemning. However, when I checked Youtube, the video had only about 2500 views. That seems pretty low for such a high quality video. In any case, it was very informative and I believe representative of the kind of approach Christian churches are taking in the UK. In contrast to Christian churches in Brazil, many of which are extremely enthusiastic and involve lots of loud music, loud singing and violent loyalties between the different denominations, the British model is much more laid back. However, in terms of teaching traditional values, the website was actually quite clear about what was right and wrong, although I could tell that they were careful in their choice of language to invite people instead of condemn them. This page was particularly interesting. Overall, it will be interesting to talk to leaders and members in these different churches and hear how their views about social issues and the role of religion contrasts with the opinions that these recent surveys have demonstrated are held by the majority of the population in the UK.

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