40% of people in England don’t believe Jesus was a real person, according to a new survey from the Church of England.
Even more shockingly, a full 25% of 18-to-34-year-olds believe he was a mythical figure, akin to Paul Bunyan or the Easter Bunny or Zeus—rather than an actual human being.
It’s one thing to not believe in Christianity, or whether or not Jesus was the son of God.
It’s another thing, altogether, to believe Jesus wasn’t a real person—when historic documentation shows that, fairly uncontroversially and objectively, he existed and lived as a real person 2,000 years ago.
The survey was commissioned by a joint effort, involving the Church of England; Hope, a group that represents all non-denominational churches in England; and the Evangelical Alliance, which represents English evangelical Christians.
The purpose was to find out what the English people believed about Christianity. But they couldn’t have been expecting that nearly half of the country believes Jesus was a fictional character, rather than a historic figure.
The survey also showed that Christianity is on a swift decline in England: just 57% of the historically Christian nation consider themselves “Christians,” and fewer than 10% of English people read the Bible or regularly attend church.