UK Survey Highlights Christian Students Being Silenced on University Campus

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: June 30, 2023

A survey by Coventry University has detected varying levels of silencing among Christian students sharing experiences of prejudice and discrimination. Among students of other religions, Christian students stand out as feeling pressured to change their worldview.

The research "Building student relationships across religion and worldview difference" published in June 2023 by Coventry University in collaboration with other academic institutions, surveyed over 8 000 students from different universities between 2021 an 2022.

Among the data concerning attitudes towards Christians, these are the mos ¡t important findings:

- “A small minority of students report encountering insensitive comments about their worldview from others on campus. Christian and Hindu students are the group most likely to report encountering this frequently among their friends or peers.”

- Christian and Hindu students are most likely to report reading or hearing insensitive comments from their friends or peers ‘frequently’ or ‘all the time’ (23% and 26%, respectively).”

- “Our data suggest there are clusters of students from particular religious perspectives who are especially likely to reportfeeling mistreated because of their worldview. While the overall figures are relatively low, Jewish, Christian and Sikh students score highest. (...) the same three groups also score highest for feeling pressured not to report experiences of discrimination.”

- “Here’s Christian sociology student Fiona: I wouldn’t feel comfortable expressing my religious worldviews in a seminar. I do think it’s largely a secular university and I mean Christians... have a bad reputation with secular, left leaning spaces… If I expressed them in a seminar, for example, it would either get shot down… or it would just start a debate that I don’t want to be part of.”

- The proportion of students who report feeling mistreated on campus because of their worldview or religion‘frequently’ or ‘all the time’: 41% Jewish  11% Christian  6% Sikh  6% Hindu 5% Muslim 5% Buddhist 3% Non-religious 1% Other

- The proportion of students who report feeling silenced from sharing their experiences of prejudice and discrimination ‘frequently’ or ‘all the time’: 15% Jewish  13% Christian 9% Sikh  9% Muslim 7% Buddhist 7% Hindu 6% Other 4% Non-religious

“Broken down by religious perspective, Christian students appear most likely to feel pressured to change their worldview (14%).”



Photo by Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash