A YouGov poll in Britain shows that at least 38% of young adults do not believe in the Christian God and are becoming more and more attracted to several forms of Paganism. As a result, the Church of England announced a proposal on July 12, 2013 that states that they would like to create a “Pagan church” that has mainly Christian content. The Church of England hopes that in doing so that they may keep some of the 38% from becoming Pagan. It’s not clear why the Church of England feels that Paganism is such a huge threat to them, aside from the fact that Paganism was once the primary religion of the region before Christianity.
Census data that was released recently shows that Paganism is now the seventh largest religion in the United Kingdom. More surprising to the Church of England is that the number of Pagans in the United Kingdom has doubled since 2001. Just last month the Summer Solstice celebration at Stonehenge attracted over 20,000 people to the site to take part in the Pagan ritual. With that many Pagans in one place its no wonder that the Church of England maybe worried that Christianity is on a down hill slide in Britain.
Christian churches in Britain are working hard to evangelize the Pagans and Anglicans have even had information booths at Pagan events through out the region. As you might imagine, these booths are not popular but Pagans world wide are known for being hospitable and all welcoming so they are not turned away. The Church of England’s proposal for a “Pagan church” has many people questioning the theological compromise that could take place if such a church was created.
An Anglican agency called the Church Army has also made similar suggestions of a “Pagan church.” Steve Hollinghurst, with the Church Army, told the BBC about his ideas stating that was looking into “a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the centre.” On the Church Army’s website they describe Steve Hollinghurst as being researcher of the “themes of contemporary spirituality, the new age movement and mind, body, spirit fairs.” Once his comments reached the newspapers in Britain, Steve Hollinghurst made a post to his blog stating “we as Christians need to acknowledge that and recover our own tradition of the divine feminine.” He went on to say that Pagans have “put Christians to shame when it comes to the environment.” However, he denied wanting Pagan’s to join an Anglican church.
At this time it’s not clear if the Church of England will succeed with their “Pagan church” idea but it is clear that 38% of young adults in Britain are not Christian and that most of that 38% are Pagan. It’s also clear that the number of Pagans in the United Kingdom doubled in just over 10 years time. Paganism is on the rise in the region and it seems that it wont be long before there are more Pagans in Britain than Christians.
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