Researchers at the University of Exeter surveyed nearly 500 children. They included children aged 7-11 in ten junior schools and children aged 11-14 in one comprehensive, one Church of England, one Methodist and two independent schools. Nearly half the children were Christian and nearly a third were Muslim.
While most of the children knew that Jesus had a reputation as a caring person, fewer than one in ten believed that Jesus was, or is, God. A third found Him “a bit confusing” and more than a quarter thought him “hard to believe in”. The children struggled to understand Jesus’s death and Resurrection, and resorted to the language of magic to describe him, linking the miracles with the magic tricks of Paul Daniels.
In reference to the Resurrection, one boy asked: “If he rose from the dead, how come he ain’t here now?” Others wanted to know why Jesus didn’t help them today, and why he doesn’t “come down” and tell everyone He is true.
A CHILD'S-EYE VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY
Q: What does the Bible say about the birth of Jesus that makes Christians believe he is special?
A: Jesus is the prophet of Allah
Q: Why is the cross an important symbol for Christians?
A: Because he was crossified on a cross
... Because Jesus was crusified on one to replenish our sins ...
... Because he hang himself
Q: What do you think Christians mean when they say that Jesus is the “Son of God”?
A: God is a dad to Jesus, but God and Mary weren’t married
Q: Why do you think Jesus chose fishermen like Simon and Andrew to be his disciples?
A: Because he liked fishing. And fishing is a wise sport.
...To fight for him
Q: According to the Bible, why did some people want to arrest and kill Jesus?
A: Because everybody thort he was a wizard.
... Some for shopping the cheats, and one for money.
... Because he heeled people on days he shouldn’t.
... They thought he would become rich
Q: What do Christians celebrate on Easter Sunday?
... When he rowed into Jerusalem waving palm trees
The Times 9/29/2006