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Christian foundation claims more than 50% of Anglicans agree with same-sex marriage

by Sophie Drew

New statistics claim that more than half of Anglicans are in favour of same-sex marriage. 

The research, which has been published by YouGov and analysed by the Ozanne Foundation, shows that, of 5,000 people polled, 55 per cent believe same-sex marriage is 'right'. 

Of those under 50, 72 per cent of participants were in favour. 

It's the first time that the number of people supporting same-sex marriage within the Anglican Church exceeds 50 per cent. 

However, statistician and Church of England priest Peter Ould argues that the majority of those completing the survey are not likely to be churchgoers, despite defining themselves as Anglican Christians. 

He said: "Well, the problem with this survey is the same problem with the survey when it's been done years and years previously; it's that this term 'Anglican' needs to be defined very clearly.  

"What is happening is YouGov is going into the general population and simply asking them what people's vague religious affiliation is, and most people in this country, as we know, call themselves Christian.

"Some call themselves Anglican, because the Church of England is the largest church in the state.

"But when you dig down into who these people actually are, are they attending church? Do they believe what Christianity believes what you find out is that most of these Anglicans aren't attending church?

"We know that the attendance of the Church of England is around three quarters of a million Sunday by Sunday. For things like Easter and Christmas, it goes up by another million or so.

"But according to the survey, we've got 10s of millions of Anglicans in the country. So 95% of these Anglicans in the survey don't attend church on Sundays. Well over 80% of them don't even darken the door of a church at Christmas and Easter - the main Christian festivals - so these Anglicans are not part of worshipping Christian communities. 

"But do they believe what Christianity says? Well, again, we got loads of our surveys - both here in this country via YouGov or out in the USA - which show time and time again, that people who call themselves Christian or claim a religious affiliation, but don't attend church tend to believe things very, very different than the churches that they claim an affiliation with. 

"So for example, if you claim to be Christian, but don't attend church, you're half as likely to believe that God is perfect and Holy, Almighty and the ruler of the universe.

"You're half as likely to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

"Less than 50 per cent believe Jesus died for your sins and was raised bodily on the on the third day. 

"One YouGov survey showed that, of nominal Christians, a staggering 60% believe that you got to Heaven on the basis of your good works, not through the grace of Jesus Christ by putting your trust and faith in Him."

Many have argued that allowing same-sex marriage in churches could combat falling congregation numbers, but Peter says that isn't the case based on evidence shown elsewhere. 

"The argument that is made is if we were to endorse same-sex marriage and take on these liberal Christian views, that suddenly everybody who wasn't coming to church would come to church.

"The actual facts are, in this country and in America, in Canada, in Australia, all around the world, where denominations take revisionist liberal doctrines, where they endorsed same sex marriage, the numbers attending church go down rapidly rather than increase time and again."

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