A major 2018 Pew Research Center survey of religious beliefs and practices in Western Europe reported that Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated, and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions. The survey shows that non-practicing Christians (defined, for the purposes of the report, as people who identify as Christians, but attend church services no more than a few times per year) make up the biggest share of the population across the region. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are roughly three times as many non-practicing Christians (55%) as there are church-attending Christians (18%) defined this way.
Recently, my wife Tammy and I, along with four family members, visited a number of sites in Great Britain over a twelve-day period. We were talking about why Christianity declines like it has in Great Britain. According to the Pew survey, some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues. Sadly, the United States may be headed in the same direction.
Our trip was not specifically a church history trip, but we did visit a few churches and came across other items from Great Britain church history that I wanted to share with you. To prepare for the trip, I listened to Michael Reeves excellent teaching series from Ligonier Ministries The English Reformation and the Puritans.
Here are a few brief reflections on what I saw on our trip. Continue reading