The best and worst things about our religious leaders

A recent poll found that one in five people (21%) of people in Britain feel they are at risk of being judged based on their religion.

It comes after research found that some religious leaders are less charitable than others.

The poll, commissioned by the Church of England, found that those who were more religious (including the Church hierarchy) were more likely to give money to charity and have lower levels of stress.

The survey also found that nearly two thirds of people (63%) said they were dissatisfied with their religious leaders.

Here are the 10 worst things people are saying about their leaders: 1.

The Lord’s Prayer, for example, “is an obscene prayer”, and it has a “long history of being a symbol of contempt and hatred” 2.

“God is a God of war” and it is “a very offensive, blasphemous and immoral statement”, the survey found.

“It is used as a symbol for violence and destruction and as a weapon of political warfare,” said Dr John Gee, director of research at the think tank think tank.

3.

“The Lord’s prayer is an obscene and offensive statement” The Lord is God and His Word.

This is an absolute lie, the survey concluded.

“To be honest, there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this prayer is a blessing to anyone.

It is just a statement of hatred and contempt.

It’s not even a true prayer.”

4.

“Jesus Christ is a Christian” The poll found: “People tend to think of Jesus Christ as a Christian figure and a saint.

That is a mistake.”

The survey asked respondents to identify the “most important reason they could identify for why they believe in Jesus Christ”.

People were asked to rate their reasons for identifying as Christian, including their “personal belief” in Christ and the “faith of others”.

“A lot of people identify with Christ as just a guy, but the people who do are quite varied,” said Mr Gee.

“There are some people who believe in him as a human being, and others who don’t.

It can be very complicated.”

5.

“People think it’s a sign of spiritual power” The survey found that people who identified as spiritual were more apt to have a positive view of God and the Christian faith.

It also found: 60 per cent of people felt that “believing in God and Jesus is a sign that you are spiritual and you have a spiritual experience”.

6.

“Believing in Jesus is not a sign you are religious” Many people (62 per cent) felt that their faith was not a “sign of spiritual strength”.

7.

“You should be honest about your faith” The research found: 54 per cent thought that being a Christian was not an honest thing to be, with people believing “it’s a religious lie”.

8.

“When someone tells you that Jesus is the Messiah, that is something that should be taken as a sign.

It should be seen as a compliment.”

“There is a huge range of opinions on this.”

9.

“If you think Jesus is God, then you should be proud of being Christian” It is important to “be honest and straightforward about your beliefs and values”, Mr Gie said.

10.

“I’ve been taught that I have been a good Christian.

I’ve been told I’ve got to believe in something or somebody.”

There were also suggestions that “religious people have a harder time expressing their views”.

Mr Gye said that “some of these attitudes, which are in line with what we’d expect, are deeply damaging to people”.

The poll was commissioned by The Church of Britain and the Institute of Religion Research and Education.

The study, entitled “Religious people’s perceptions of their own religious leaders”, was published in the journal Intelligence.

A version of this article was first published by The Sunday Times on 10 April, 2017.