44 percent of Aussies believe in the resurrection of Jesus
Easter Sunday is the traditional day for Christians to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead.
Forty four percent of Australians believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead in some way according to research released in time for Easter by the Australian Community Survey (ACS) run by NCLS Research.
Three in 10 Australians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and more than a quarter of Australians do not know what they believe.
Half of the 44 percent who do believe in the resurrection chose the statement: “I believe the resurrection of Jesus from the dead happened word-for-word as described in the Bible”.
Meanwhile, the other half chose the option: “I believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, but the story in the Bible contains some content which should not be taken literally”.
“We learnt that nearly six in ten Australians say they are familiar with the Christian faith,” said Dr Ruth Powell, NCLS Research Director. Some 56% of respondents claimed to be familiar with the Christian faith, with over 20% claiming to have a strong understanding of Christianity’s teachings and values.
Yet only half of all Australians believe Jesus of Nazareth to be a historical figure. “This is perplexing, given the wide acceptance amongst historians that Jesus Christ was a real person who lived in first century Palestine”, noted Dr Powell. Two in ten Australians thought Jesus was a mythical or fictional character and three in ten don’t know.
“If the human existence of Jesus is not resolved for Australians, it is not surprising that there are differing views as to whether he was divine,” said Dr Powell. The survey found that 22 percent of people accepted Jesus was divine, or ’God in human form who lived among people in the first Century’.
Similar levels of acceptance were recorded for those who believe Jesus was a normal human being or ‘a prophet or spiritual leader, but not God’.
The ACS compares the attitudes of church attenders and the wider community on a range of social issues, tracks spirituality and religiousness, and evaluates how the Australian community views churches in society. The latest ACS was conducted in November 2021.
NCLS Research also operates the largest and longest running survey of local churches in the world. The National Church Life Survey has tracked Australian church life and health for more than 30 years.
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