LONDON, August 23, 2011 ( – An online survey carried out in July by the UK’s Premier Christian Media has surprisingly revealed that euthanasia and abortion are issues of greater importance to young Christians than to older believers, whereas older Christians are more concerned with youth related issues than their younger counterparts.

The poll of 529 UK Christians was conducted by ComRes polling and research consultancy between 6th July and 18th July 2011 by online questionnaire. ComRes indicated that data received were weighted by denomination to reflect the composition of the UK Christian population according to the 2005 Church Census.

The poll asked Christians aged eighteen to 65+ from all denominations and representing all parts of the country to rate issues in terms of how important they are to them.

“Surprisingly,” a press release from ComRes outlining the poll results states, “pro-life and end of life issues were of greater concern to young people aged between 18-34 years compared with those over the age of 65.”

Analysis of the data showed that almost three quarters (69%) of young people surveyed believe abortion to be very important compared to just 31% of over 65’s.

Similarly, two thirds (66%) of young people think euthanasia is a very important issue, compared with just a third (33%) of over 65’s.

“Most surprising of all,” ComRes observed, “the survey found that youth related issues were of greater concern to over 65’s compared to young people (under 35’s).”

Four in ten (42%) of over 65’s surveyed believe youth work is a very important issue compared to just 29% of young people.

Similarly, 30% of over 65’s believe young people in prison is of greater concern compared to just 15% of young people.

Areas where there is a general consensus as being very important across all age groups of Christians are marriage, parenting and the family, freedom of religious expression, and care of the elderly by society.

Martin Saunders, the editor of Youthwork magazine, an evangelical Christian magazine published monthly for Christian youth workers in the UK, observed that the mainstream media portrayal of youth as being “thoughtless” or concerned only with their own issues is challenged by the poll results.

“It’s fascinating to see that young people are concerned about pro-life and end of life issues and older Christians are concerned with youth related issues,” Saunders said. “This poll bucks the trend that perceives young people to be thoughtless, and highlights the concern both age groups have for each other.”

“The media perhaps has a part to play in shaping the perception we have of both groups. Euthanasia has dominated the media recently, which has led many young people to be aware of the issue. It is encouraging to see that both groups are concerned about one another’s well-being and not solely on issues that affect their own age group.”

The data from the Premier Christian Media survey is available from the ComRes website here.