Just one in eight adults know the story of Christmas

 A website telling the real story of Christmas has been launched by the Bible Society, in the wake of research published last week that says only one in eight adults knows the story of Jesus' birth. The study by the public theology think tank Theos found that only 12 per cent of adults, and just seven per cent of those aged 18 to 24, were able to correctly answer questions about the Bible's account of the Christmas story. Now Bible Society has launched a website to help people know more about the nativity story. While classic elements of the Gospels, such as the appearance of an angel to Mary or where Jesus was born, were known by 73 per cent of people, less than a quarter knew that Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape Herod's massacre of the innocents. Drawing on accounts from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the website uses animation to illustrate the dramatic story of a young girl who is visited by an angel and receives a message from heaven. The story continues with a power struggle between a king and a family of asylum seekers and concludes with an explanation of why the birth of Jesus is celebrated. Six million free stamp-sized stickers advertising the website are available from Bible Society for people to use on their Christmas post and lead others to the real story of Christmas. "Because so many people simply don't know the story behind the season they are celebrating, Christmas is just another holiday," said Peter Meadows, Bible Society's Director of Giving and Communication. 'The Theos research shows that most people are aware of the Christmas story, but are they missing out on something really worth celebrating? This website was launched to bridge the gap between people's basic knowledge - and the real and dramatic story of Christmas.' He added: 'This website will help people from all sorts of backgrounds and traditions engage with the Bible's story of Christmas, as they flick through from screen to screen. There are also links to help them really find out what the story means for them.' Visit www.therealstory.org.uk to read the story. To order 'real story' Christmas stickers from Bible Society, call 01793 418222 or email contactus@biblesociety.org.uk Source: Bible Society

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