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Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Majority of Christians 'tick the box'


Research carried out by for a secularist foundation has suggested that most of those who describe themselves as Christian in Britain have only a low level of belief and practice of the religion.

A poll carried out by Ipsos-Mori for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science indicated that half of those in Britain who say they are Christian rarely go to church while nearly 60% do not read the Bible.

Prof Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, told the Today programme's Justin Webb that most people who call themselves Christian merely "tick the Christian box".

When asked whether the figures told us anything of use, Professor Dawkins insisted it "told us an awful lot" because it puts into doubt the place of Christian practices in society such as bishops in House of Lords and the presence of faith schools.

However Reverend Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's, called the findings "extraordinary" and maintained that it was not fair to trump people's "self identification" as Christians.

He said that "there are all sorts of ways to express Christianity" and that we should not be "purging religion from the public square".

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