Christians fear reading Bible at work, but they needn’t

Many Christians would feel uncomfortable reading the Bible at work during breaks but the truth is that the vast majority of their colleagues wouldn’t mind, according to a new survey.

Read a Christian Institute report on religious liberty in the workplace.

The research, commissioned by the Bible Society, discovered that 43 per cent of Christians would feel uncomfortable about reading the Bible whilst on breaks at work.

But the vast majority of their colleagues surveyed said they would have no objection to the practice, and almost half said they would be willing to discuss the Bible with a Christian colleague.


Only 14 per cent of workers said it would make them feel uncomfortable if a Christian colleague opened the Scriptures.

The survey also revealed that Christians are more likely to feel uncomfortable with having their Bibles on display at work than their colleagues. But 75 per cent of the atheists surveyed said this wouldn’t be a problem.

The news is likely to encourage many Christians who have become increasingly concerned at the way in which their faith has been pushed from the public sphere in recent years.


The survey, which was carried out by Christian Research and ICM, was released as part of the Bible Society’s Take Your Bible to Work Day which was held earlier this week.

Benita Hewitt, of Christian Research, said: “We wanted to see, in 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 that 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.”


And Ann Holt, the Bible Society’s Director of Programme, said: “There are a variety of issues here from a misplaced fear about a hostile reception to having a Bible at work to a lack of certainty about what to do with it if you do to take it to work.

“This makes the need to break down the divide between the sacred and the secular all the more urgent. We need more training on the significance of the Bible in our everyday lives.”

Last year the Archbishop of York said that Christians should not leave their beliefs behind when they go to work.


Dr John Sentamu said: “There needn’t be a separation between what goes on in church and in our prayers – and what goes on in the office or in the boardroom or on the shop floor.”

Dr Sentamu told an audience at Holy Trinity Brompton church in London that Christians should be a “force for good” in the world of business.

He told the meeting: “There is no more urgent time than now to break down the compartmentalised thinking that separates trust in God from the world of work.”

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