Less than half of adults in the UK who identify as Christians agree that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected at Easter so they could be forgiven for their sins, according to a new poll.

The ComRes poll, which was carried out for BBC Local radio, showed that while 46 per cent of those who identified as Christians agreed with the statement, 26 per cent said they neither agreed or disagreed, 17 per cent disagreed and 11 per cent didn't know.

The poll also revealed that 76 per cent of Christians said they would find murder impossible to forgive, 84 per cent said they would find child abuse impossible to forgive and 78 per cent said the same of sexual abuse including rape. All three figures were only slightly lower than those among the general population.

At the other end of the scale, 20 per cent of Christians said they would find stealing easy to forgive, 30 per cent said the same of verbal abuse (including mockery), 40 per cent of lying, and 58 per cent of swearing.

Only 10 per cent of those who identified as Christian said they attended religious services at least weekly.

The poll was conducted online in early March and involved 2,042 British adults.