The De-Baptism Movement

Sam Rainer

April 1, 2009

A recent story from Great Britain broke my heart. While the movement is not widespread, more than 100,000 British people have downloaded certificates of de-baptism. Another 1,500 British have paid for the parchment version of the certificate. The National Secular Society started the movement.

This news snippet comes from the report:

The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming “There’s probably no God.”

“We now produce a certificate on parchment and we have sold 1,500 units at three pounds (4.35 dollars, 3.20 euros) a pop,” said NSS president Terry Sanderson, 58.

John Hunt, a 58-year-old from London and one of the first to try to be “de-baptised,” held that he was too young to make any decision when he was christened at five months old.

The male nurse said he approached the Church of England to ask it to remove his name. “They said they had sought legal advice and that I should place an announcement in the London Gazette,” said Hunt, referring to one of the official journals of record of the British government.

So that’s what he did — his notice of renouncement was published in the Gazette in May 2008 and other Britons have followed suit.

You can read the full story here. I’m an eternal optimist about the church and the impact we can have in our local communities, so I don’t desire to spread doom and gloom. Stories like this one, however, make me pray more and look harder for ways to serve and reach others.

One comment on “The De-Baptism Movement”

  1. Bryan says:

    Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds. England’s cultural Christianity effectively blunts the force of the gospel. Those people baptized as infants who have never personally trusted in Christ, so often look back to their baptism as an indication that they are really OK with God. At least this trend draws clearer lines. These people now know that they’re not Christians.

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