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Easter... it's just about chocolate isn't it?

by Simon Boyle. Published Tue 24 Mar 2009 10:06, last updated: 25/03/09
Easter/ Just about chocolate?
Easter/ Just about chocolate?

Knowledge about the religious significance of Easter is at an all-time low according to a survey commissioned by Click Liverpool.

Our survey shows four out of five people regard Easter as nothing more than a chance to guzzle chocolate and enjoy a long bank-holiday weekend.

Only 22 per cent of people we quizzed in Liverpool were able to identify Easter as the day on which Christians celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ following death on the cross.

Clergy and church groups in the city have expressed dismay at the findings of the investigation that we carried out at random in Church Street.

Revd David Phillips of The Church Society said: "This is essentially a moral issue since it shows that Christianity has been relegated and sidelined in schools.

"In British schools, Christianity should be tought and should take precedence over other religions because it has shaped our nationality, institutions and values.

"Instead children study "comparative religions" and it means that people today lack an understanding of what lies at the heart of Christianity and our moral values, which are important whether one believes in God or not."

Oofficial census figures showed that more than 70 per cent of of British people still consider themselves, at least nominally Christian.

But the survey carried out by pollsters for the website found that only 22 per cent were aware that Easter marks the resurrection.

And a massive seventy per cent said that the cross on a hot cross bun was "just a decoration" and were not aware that it is a lenten tradition.

The CoE Archdeacon of Liverpool, The Venerable Ricky Panter said: "These results are very disappointing.

"People feeling warmly-disposed to the Christian faith, yet having very little knowledge of it is an English disease.

"Easter is vitally significant in the Christian calendar, and the cross is our most familiar symbol.

"It seems that religious education in schools may have failed to link it with the Easter story that is so central to the Bible.

"Teachers and curriculum supervisors should take serious note of these findings."

Daphne McLeod, chair of Catholic lay traditionalist society 'Ecclesia et Pontifice' said: "Commercialism has completely taken over.

"We are still supposed to be a Christian country, but now we talk about a 'Spring Holiday' instead of Easter, and life just carries on undisturbed.

"It would do people the world of good to just stop for one or two days a year and spend the time together as families."

The Qualifications and Curriculum Alliance (QCA) - the body that oversees the content of school lessons in England and Wales - said the nature of religious eduction is a matter for local authorities.

A spokesman for QCA said, "Local authorities decide what to teach in RE depending on the nature of their community.

"Although we are a Christian country, we have to take into account the variety of faiths in Britain today.

"An overview of all religions should be taught to children aged 5 to 16, but in some areas the teaching may not focus on Christianity to avoid offending sectors of the class."

The results to the questions asked were:

1 "What does Easter Sunday mean to you?"

It's a holiday off work: 48%
It's an opportunity to eat a lot of chocolate: 30%
It's a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22%

2 "Should Easter fall on the same day each year?"

Yes: 58%
No: 14%
Don't know 28%

3 "Do you know the religious significance of a hot cross bun?"

A decoration: 70%
Recalls the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: 24%
Other: 6%


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"A Christian feast day supplanted a pagan festival. A new Retailism suppresses the old Christian holiday.E g Fr Xmas Easter Bunny Mothers Day" Augustin, Wirral around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Frank: Christianity has a chequered history. TS Elliot warned against using Christianity in a utilitarian fashion. There are better ways." BrokeH, England around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Broken H: Morality may exist "above" religions, but 2000 years of history shows Christianity is the best way to teach people the "rules"." Frank Jones, Wirral around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Frank: Why do think making people aware of the variety of philosophies and beliefs is a waste of time? Morality exists above religions." BrokenH, England around 6 years, 4 months ago

"To Jesus: I personally find it sad that such a fun, harmless tradition of giving chocolates can be poisoned with ridiculous fairytales." Spoony, Nottingham around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Teaching a faith is NOT brainwashing -there is no better way to convey true morals. Teaching "Comparative religions" is a waste of time!" Frank Jones, Liverpool around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Hot cross buns are eaten at Easter. The UK is a Christian country I was always taught the Cross is a reminder the crucifixion." Tony Harding, Wirral around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Telling kids that there are many forms of philosophy & belief including numerous religions is more important than brainwashing them in one." BrokenH, England around 6 years, 4 months ago

"The organised religions don't seem about goodness. Easter is a Pagan Festival and they are about morality and goodness and harming none." Keith, England around 6 years, 4 months ago

"The cross on hotcross buns is nothing to do with Xianity. It's a Pagen symbol simply marking out the four seasons. Eoster is also Pagan." Alan C, Shetland around 6 years, 4 months ago

"The real significance of Easter is the pagan goddess, Ä’ostre and Easter is associated with eggs because it's a celebration of fertility." Chris, Surrey around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Pagan festival hijacked by Christianity. It's a celebration of the re-writing of history. Now it's about choccies. Good. I like choccies!" Smoke, and mirrors around 6 years, 4 months ago

"But its not! Its originally a pagan spring festival "co-opted" by the christians. Seems you are as misinformed as your survey subjects." Mark, Liverpool around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Easter is nothing to do with Christianity, it is for the old god Eostre and a celebration of Spring and rebirth - hence eggs and rabbits." bob, london around 6 years, 4 months ago

"So if the kids could comment that it was a festival hijacked from the pagans would they get full marks?" TheObviousTruth, Edinburgh around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Shouldn't the clergy reflect on the name Easter and acknowledge that all religions pass? Jesus is going the way of Eostre, goddess of Spring" Pete Moss, Reading, UK around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Totally invalid conclusion. People may know Easter is about resurrection for Christians, but Q.1 only asks them what it means to them." Anne, Kent around 6 years, 4 months ago

"Wow.. it's amazing such a monumental day in the Christian faith can be reduced to just chocolate.." Jesus, Bethlehem around 6 years, 4 months ago

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