People in marginalised groups in the UK are least likely to hear the gospel, according to the findings of a new survey from London City Mission.
The long-standing evangelism organisation, based in the capital, commissioned a survey of practising Christians looking at attitudes towards sharing their faith.
The study, conducted by Savanta, revealed that "gospel poverty" - where a person has no-one at all in their social circle who could share the gospel with them - was particularly high among those in marginalised groups such as those who are homeless or seeking asylum.
The survey found that while the majority of Christians said they feel confident sharing their faith, and know it's important, only 1 in 5 would be comfortable sharing the gospel with someone on the outskirts of society.
The online survey, conducted during a two-week period in September this year, received responses from over 1,000 people, who identified as practicing Christians – meaning they answered yes to attending church, and reading the Bible and praying at least weekly.
Among the groups Christians said they would be most likely to share their faith with were:
• Close friends (42 per cent)
• Family (42 per cent)
• Work colleagues (37 per cent)
However, they felt less able to connect and share their faith with were people from a different social background (30 per cent), or who are marginalised in society (20 per cent).
As for reasons for their reluctance, just over a quarter (26 per cent) of Christians reported feeling worried about a negative reaction, while one in five (19 per cent) felt they might hold back out of a desire to be “tolerant” and let others have their own beliefs.
London City Mission is launching a campaign, encouraging Christians to “reach outside of your comfort zone” and “start with one” this Christmas.
Jason Roach, director of ministries at London City Mission has a passion for churches building bridges into communities where Jesus Christ isn't known.
He told Premier Christian News: “We want to encourage people to think even though there is a world of difference between the people around us, sometimes there are simple steps that we can take that might make a massive difference.
“Can you imagine if we all did that? London would be transformed, and the cities of our country can be transformed!”
The charity has launched a new resource hub and podcast Everyday Evangelism, for Christians who long to see Jesus change lives.
Roach said that with the growing diversity in the UK, we need to make sure the gospel doesn’t get left out: “Where people around us come from all kinds of different backgrounds and life histories and cultures, we wonder, ‘How do I take the first step?’ And so that’s the reason we've launched these resources at London City Mission, to help people to [begin] sharing Jesus with those around them.”