Christians more wary of Bible at work than atheist colleagues

By: Richard Franklin, Bible Society
Saturday, 23 October 2010, 17:10 (IST)
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"The Bible is everything, isn’t it?" says Graham Ledger, 55, a bus driver from Cheltenham. He has one next to him on his bus. It sits, everyday, beside the ticket machine.

"I brought it to read then people started to comment on it," says Graham. "I said it was a great book."

But, according to research carried out by Bible Society, not everyone is as happy as Graham to take a Bible to work. While most Christians said they would feel fine having their Bible at work, 43 per cent said they would feel uncomfortable actually getting it out to read and almost a third were worried about what work colleagues might think.

In fact, Christians are more likely to feel uncomfortable about having their Bible on display at work than their work colleagues. Seventy five per cent of atheists questioned said they would not consider it to be a problem.

The online survey for Bible Society was carried out by Christian Research and ICM and comes after a number of high profile cases where Christians have found themselves in trouble for encouraging people to think about faith in God or for offering to pray with people in the workplace.

It found that while Christians may feel uncomfortable about reading their Bible at work, in breaks or at lunchtimes, only 14 per cent of workers would feel uncomfortable if they did it and as many as half would be happy to talk about the Bible with Christian colleagues.

Benita Hewitt from Christian Research says: "We wanted to see, in the light of news stories about Christians getting into trouble at work, how people felt about openly reading a Bible at work.

"Interestingly we found that 60 per cent of workers think their employer wouldn’t see it as a problem at all and only 2 per cent felt that openly reading the Bible at work might lead to a formal response."

The research has been released as part of Bible Society’s Take Your Bible to Work Day on Monday 25 October when Christians across the country have been invited to do more than just celebrate the Bible in church and take a Bible to work as a statement of faith.

Taking a Bible to work is one of six ways churchgoers are being invited to celebrate the Bible’s message of freedom as part of this year’s Bible Sunday on Sunday 24 October and to demonstrate how the Bible isn’t just for Sunday; it’s for the whole of life and for everyone, everywhere.

Bus driver Graham Ledger will have his Bible at work on Monday as will Mike Keene. Mike, who is Parks Horticultural Officer at Chelmsford Borough Council, either takes his Bible into work or uses an email Bible reading resource at his desk. While he’s had curiosity, surprise and interest from workmates, Mike says that he’s "never felt awkward" about reading his Bible at work.

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