A public opinion poll on behalf of Premier Media Group.
Date Published: 23 Jun 2011
Categories: Media | Public and communities | Social | UK
Teach young people about other religions or risk religious extremism, warns new public poll
Nearly three quarters (71%) of the British public believe society will become more divided, unless children and young people are taught about different cultures and religions, according to a new ComRes survey, commissioned by the Premier Christian Media Group.
The same poll also revealed that more than two thirds (68%) of the British public believe that today’s younger generations don’t know enough about other religions and cultures, other than their own.
This comes as new research, released from the National Association of RE Teachers revealed that a significant number of schools are failing to deliver even the statutory requirements for teaching Religious Education.
The same poll revealed, a staggering 88% of the British public believe learning about other faiths and cultures is important, with just more than half (57%), agreeing that teaching children and young people about different cultures and religions will reduce instances of religious extremism and fundamentalism in Britain.
This view was significantly high (70%) amongst those who considered themselves to have a good knowledge of world religions.
The RE.ACT campaign was launched earlier this year, with the aim of lobbying the Secretary of State for Education, to ensure RE is included the Baccalaureate. The petition has received well over 140,000 signatures and is to be handed in next week.
Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media, organisers of the petition said:
“ The public clearly value and understand the benefits of religious education to our young people and that without it, there is a strong possibility they will become ignorant, intolerant and possibly hostile towards those of who hold other beliefs. The public, MPs and faith leaders have all spoken out on the importance of RE. We just hope that this body of evidence, along with public opinion may convince the government to rethink and consider making RE a priority in our schools once again.”
Methodology: ComRes interviewed 2,005 GB adults online between 10th and 12th June 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.