Most Britons believe many of the Ten Commandments are “important principles to live by”, according to a new poll.
Commandments against murder, theft and lying are most respected by British adults – but keeping the Sabbath day holy is only backed by one in five.
The Christian Institute welcomed the results as further evidence of the influence of Christianity on Britain.
YouGov questioned 1,680 adults earlier this month, asking them for their views on the Ten Commandments – irrespective of their faith.
For six of the laws, given by God to Moses and recorded in Exodus chapter 20, more than 50 per cent said they were “still important principles to live by”.
“You shall not murder” and “You shall not steal” were the most respected commandments at 93 per cent – although two per cent claimed they were both no longer important.
…this poll is another reminder that God’s word is relevant to all people, for all time.
Oppostion to adultery
Nearly nine in ten told the pollsters they supported the rule against lying about other people, while nearly three quarters believed “You shall not commit adultery” was important.
The gap between men and women on adultery was notable – 26 per cent of males believed faithfulness in marriage was unimportant compared to just twelve per cent of females.
The commandment to honour parents was supported by almost 7 in 10, with the figure increasing with the age of the respondents.
Sadly commandments against worshipping idols and using God’s name in vain were deemed irrelevant – although nearly a quarter thought not blaspheming was still important.
Over 70 per cent said keeping the Sabbath holy was not a principle they valued, rising to nearly 8 in 10 for 18 to 24-year-olds.
The Christian Institute said: “This poll shows the deep influence of the Christian faith on Britain.
“Our nation still looks to the truths of the Bible to set its moral compass on issues like murder, theft, lying and adultery.
“As we approach the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, when men and women recovered the essential truths of our salvation, this poll is another reminder that God’s word is relevant to all people, for all time.
“Jesus upheld the Ten Commandments and Christianity teaches us that it is his death and resurrection which assures us of our eternal life with God.”