The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a union of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It was the world’s first industrialized economy, but declined after WWII. It has been a Christian nation for centuries, though this seems to be decreasing and there is a hostility toward overt religiosity in the public and media. The Church of England (Anglican) is recognized as the established church in England, and the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) is the same for Scotland. Disestablishment of the Church is being increasingly advocated. 60% are Christian, with the rest mostly non-religious.
The UK’s contribution to global Christianity has been significant for centuries, including Wycliffe and Tyndale, and many evangelical writers, theologians and worship leaders. Lately, the sense that “all is not well” pervades the country. Whether it is from the recent EU or immigration, or a lacking of core identity and purpose, or terrorist threats, there is much unrest. Christianity is increasingly marginalized, and the “mother” Church of England is fragmented over theological issues, and evangelical Christianity is no longer growing. Young people are particularly of concern. Despite their freedoms, depression, suicide, self-harm and mental health problems have reached alarming levels in the UK. They lead Europe in sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, abortion, binge drinking, drug abuse, and violent crime. Yet, there is hope the UK will return to their Christian roots which made them strong. Younger generation movements are emerging with new approaches to worship styles, prayer movements and outreach efforts. Having personally worked with many people from the UK over the years, I have often sensed an emptiness and lack of hope in their lives, despite their cultural advantage. I pray for the country and the people to return to a sense of peace and love for Christ.