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British know Big Brother winner but not church leader

A new poll has revealed more people in the UK know the name of the winner of Big Brother than know the name of the country's most prominent religious leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The poll by the Mori research group also revealed that nearly half the country can't name any of the four Christian gospels.

The poll results suggest that while 60% of people believe in God, only 18% are practising members of a religion. It says 52% of respondents believe in heaven, whereas only 32% believe in hell.

The poll also examines whether people's beliefs in areas such as astrology, ghosts or telepathy are based on personal experience or held as a matter of pure faith. Almost half of the 38% of people who believe in ghosts said they'd had a personal experience of them.

According to the poll more people can name the Koran as the sacred book of Muslims (60%) than can name any of the four New Testament Gospels (55%). Only 18% of people name the Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the Anglican Communion) - compared to the 28% who could name the winner of the most recent Big Brother series.

The poll was commissioned by the BBC for a TV program called The Heaven and Earth Show .


Detail of poll data
Mori Research
Big Brother (UK)
Archbishop of Canterbury

9 Sep 2003