Christians and the Brexit poll

As you may well know, Britain will face an historic poll next Friday (Thursday 23 June in the UK).

A decision is going to be made on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

What you may NOT know is that Anglicans in Britain have indicated they are likely to vote differently from people of other religions on the issue.

Officially, religious authority has remained neutral on the vote. Class, age, or education are much better indicators of voter preference than religion.

But polls show members of the Church of England as by far the most likely “Brexiteers” (the people who want Britain to exit) when compared to other religious groups and those who proclaim no religious affiliation at all.

In a recent British poll, 55 percent of Anglicans said they back the “leave” campaign.

That was the highest “out” vote among six Christian denominations in the survey.

While nearly split, Roman Catholics on the other hand favoured staying, by 43 percent to 42 percent.

Other polls have shown much more support for “remain” among the UK’s various religious minorities, including Muslims.

To explain the difference between Roman Catholic and Protestant Euro-scepticism (with the latter much higher generally across Europe), researchers have gone back to the 16th century.

The Reformation was born from the fight against foreign authority, and many would argue that spirit carries on against what is today perceived as dictatorship from Brussels.

Giles Fraser, an Anglican priest and co-founder of Christians for Britain, made the argument explicitly when he summed up in a newspaper column that “Brexit perfectly recycles this defiant                               spirit of the Reformation.”

Whatever the result, it definitely appears that Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic countries tend to be more favourable towards the vision of the European Union than do Anglican ones.