Sharp drop in children reading Bible stories

The number of children in England regularly hearing or reading Bible stories has halved in the last 20 – 30 years.

The results come from a study by the Bible Society that says stories such as ‘Noah’s Ark’, ‘Adam and Eve’, and even the story of ‘Christmas’ is at risk of being lost to future generations.

The study showed 46%  of children are exposed to the bible at home or school at least once a year, compared with almost 90% in their parents’ generation.

The study also found that large numbers of children did not know that many of the most famous Christian stories came from the Bible.

England’s Bible Society chief executive, James Catford is concerned that unless action is taken the Bible’s engaging story could be lost to future generations.

“The Bible’s contribution to our culture – language, literature, the visual arts and music – is immense. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from.

“The Bible enriches life, and every child should have the opportunity to experience it”, said Catford.

Calling Bible stories essential to teaching literacy and history, Sir Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate, said regardless of religious beliefs it will be difficult for academics to teach without an understanding of Bible stories.

The findings came only months after Ofsted found students left school with on a ‘very limited understanding’ of christianity because of a dip in standards of religious education.



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