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Children bring Aesop to Easter

25 April 2014

ONE THIRD of children in the UK aged between eight and 15 do not know why we observe Good Friday, and a quarter do not understand the significance of Easter Day, a poll for the Bible Society suggests.

The findings were released last weekend to support the Society's campaign to halt the decline of Bible literacy. It asked parents to read a bedtime Bible story to their children for five nights.

The YouGov researchers, who questioned 1082 children online last month, found that many confused the Easter story with other parts of the Bible, Aesop's fables, and fairy tales.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) thought that the Golden Goose or the Hare and the Tortoise (28 per cent) could be part of the Easter story, and 29 per cent did not know that God raised Jesus from the dead.

One in eight (13 per cent) believed that Jesus gave his followers the Ten Commandments.

Three-quarters of those questioned, however, knew that Jesus fed 5000 people with loaves and fishes, and two-thirds thought that he might walk on water.

Only one fifth did not know that Judas betrayed Jesus, but more than half (56 per cent) did not know that Judas identified Jesus to his captors by kissing him. A similar number (48 per cent) were unaware that Jesus showed love by washing his followers' feet.

The Bible Society's group chief executive, James Catford, said: "The lack of knowledge about Easter should cause us all concern."

The Society hopes that parents will respond to its five-day Bible Bedtimes Challenge, and has launched a free app written by the children's author Martin Coleman.

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