The head of religion at the BBC has warned that migrants from Africa and eastern Europe could be bringing “more assertive” forms of Christianity with “conflicting views” on equal marriage.
Aaqil Ahmed writes for the Independent that the UK needs to address a “chronic lack of religious literacy”, noting migration from Africa and easter Europe.
He says that there is a “more muscular Pentecostalism” identifiable within African communities in the UK, and an “upsurge in Catholic numbers” from eastern European countries such as Poland.
“Christianity may have been pronounced to be at death’s door in the last century but now it’s firmly back in the public space and how we deal with that is the real battle for Christianity here in the UK,” writes Ahmed.
Noting a “changing of the guard” in the church, he says: “Christianity is not in terminal decline as many would have us believe, it is just different now and it’s growing.”
He goes on to ask: “If among this growth is a more assertive Christianity with conflicting views with society on homosexuality, for example, then how do we deal with this?”
A BBC documentary will air on Tuesday on BBC1, looking at the changes within Christianity in the UK.
In the documentary, the Bishop of Buckingham Rt Rev Alan Wilson says: “Seventy-two per cent of Anglicans under 35 are in favour of gay marriage… In a culture like that, how long do we think we can keep this up? I think that will become increasingly unsustainable.”
The documentary also looks at the “gay cake” case, which saw a bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland for refusing to make a “support gay marriage” cake, citing the owners’ religious beliefs.