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Half of Brits say that they pray, including 20 percent with no faith

Sun 14 Jan 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

A new survey has found that 51 per cent of adults in the UK say they pray, and a fifth of them are not affiliated with a religion.

Christian humanitarian charity Tearfund, which commissioned the survey, said the results of the nationwide poll were an encouraging reminder that people still recognise the importance of prayer.

Rev Virginia Luckett, Tearfund's UK churches team director, told Premier: “I found that really encouraging because it shows God is on the move whether people recognise him themselves personally or not.”

Among those who pray but are not religious, 55 per cent say they pray in times of personal crisis or tragedy, 32 per cent say they pray on the off chance that something could change and 24 per cent say they pray as a last resort.

The poll also revealed women are more likely to say they pray than men and while half of UK adults pray, far fewer attend church regularly.  Only 9 per cent do so at least once per month.

Family is ranked the number one topic of prayer for the half Brits who say they pray. It’s followed by thanking God, healing and friends.

Worldwide issues, such as praying for global poverty or natural disasters, rank seventh on the list, which Tearfund said highlights a challenge for the charity.

Rev Luckett told Premier: “Prayer is absolutely essential to our work. We don’t believe we could tackle global poverty without prayer. We understand the root cause of poverty is broken relationships… and we know it’s only Jesus Christ that can truly change people’s hearts and minds.”

As a part of Tearfund’s 50th anniversary, the organisation has set a goal to see 1 million prayers raised this year to help end extreme poverty. It has invited people to join them.

Listen to Rev Virginia Luckett speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:


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