In UK Christian believers are more likely found in ethnic minorities, study finds

(Photo: Christine Matthews)Twilight over London from New Zealand High Commission.

Even though most UK adults believe Jesus was a historical person, they are much less convinced of his divinity, a new study has found.

Rather, belief in Jesus' divinity is not common at all, the Barna study released on Ash Wednesday for Western rite churches on Feb. 10 found.

Only about one in five adults among the general population holds the orthodox belief that Jesus was "God in human form who lived among people in the 1st Century" (22 percent).

The most common belief about Jesus is that he was "a prophet or spiritual leader, not God" (29 percent).

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On Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar 40 days of fasting in remembrance of the days Jesus spent in the wilderness resisting the temptations of Satan are commorated.

Such days remind believers that Jesus remains a central figure in the American context, a fact affirmed by the number of foreheads smudged with ashes.

Barna says research shows that the vast majority of Americans believe not only that Jesus was a real person, but claim to have made a personal commitment to him.

But what does the rest of the world know and believe about Jesus?

Although the Church of England is the established State church in England, the UK as a whole is often considered more secular than the U.S.

The Church of England, Evangelical Alliance and HOPE commissioned Barna Group to find related to belief in the United Kigdom.

"You don't have to be a Christian to believe Jesus actually walked the earth 2,000 years ago, and among the general population of UK adults, this historical reality is a common assumption," finds Barna.

Six in 10 UK adults believe Jesus was a real person (61 percent).

Age plays a minor role in that belief—adults 35 and older (63 percent) are slightly more likely than those 18 to 34 (57 percent) to believe Jesus actually lived.

Younger adults (26 percent) are also more likely than those over 35 (20 percent) to believe Jesus was a "fictional character from a book and not a real, historical person."

And even though most UK adults believe Jesus was a historical person, they are much less convinced of his divinity.

In fact, belief in Jesus' divinity is not common in the UK.

Only about one in five adults among the general population holds the orthodox belief that Jesus was

"God in human form who lived among people in the 1st Century" (22 percent). The most common belief about Jesus is that he was "a prophet or spiritual leader, not God" (29 percent

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