A British university has faced accusations of attempting to “airbrush” Christian heritage after it renamed its Lent and Michaelmas terms, claiming they “no longer resonated with the student body”.
Swansea University in Wales has come under fire for renaming its spring and autumn terms from their traditional Christian titles, Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter, and Michaelmas, the feast day of St Michael, representing the renewal of Spring and the end of the harvest season, respectively.
In a statement, a Swansea University spokesman said: “We have replaced terms such as Michaelmas and Lent as it was felt they no longer resonated with the student body, both UK and international. These term names are in line with those used by most other UK universities.”
However, critics accused the university of engaging in the broader assault on Christianity in the UK.
Speaking to The Telegraph, former Welsh Secretary and current Conservative MP, David Jones said: “I think that it’s pretty depressing that universities haven’t got more consideration for the Christian faith in this country.
“There appears to be this secularisation which is at the same time sensitive to faiths other than Christianity. I can’t imagine that many other religions would be very happy if they were to be airbrushed out of university life and I don’t think that Christians should put up with it either.”
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford added: “This new attempt to whitewash our Christian heritage is yet another in a line of examples of universities giving in to a small, vocal minority who are trying to erase our history and our traditions.
“I urge all institutions to be proud of the great history which made them the world-leading establishments they are today.”
The move from Swansea comes in the wake of similar scrapping of Christian names of terms by the London School of Economics (LSE) in January when it announced that it would rename Lent as the “winter term” while Michaelmas would be referred to as “autumn term”, and Easter as “spring break”.
The attacks on Christian heritage have seemingly ramped up amid the rise of atheism in the country, with last year’s once-in-a-decade census finding that the majority of people in England and Wales no longer believe in Christianity, likely the first time since the 7th Century AD that this was the case. The Census found that just 46.2 per cent of people described themselves as Christians, while atheism and Islam rose in the rankings.
While social factors are a large contributor to the Census conducted in 2021, immigration may have been a contributing factor as well, with the cities such as Birmingham, London, Manchester, Leicester, and Luton now being recorded as minority-majority.
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