- Peta mccartney
Australians are experiencing a ‘spiritual awakening’ during COVID-19, with a recent report showing they thought more of God, prayed more often, and reflected on the meaning of life.
At a time when there was “faltering support for religious symbolism in public life” and the church was seen as “in decline and culturally outdated”, australia Change of spiritual climate The report also found that more than three-quarters of Australians believe their local church plays an important role during the pandemic.
Mark McCrindle, Founder and Director of McCrindle Research. PHOTO: Courtesy of McCrindle Research.
A third of the population (33%) aged 18 and over thought more of God, while three in 10 (28%) prayed more, according to the report released last week.
Almost half of the population aged 18 and over thought more about the meaning of life (47%) or their own mortality (47%). People are also willing to say “yes” to a personal invitation to attend church, according to the report.
Mark McCrindle, founder and director of McCrindle Research, said the data deserves a little more thought.
“In this seemingly secular era, where the church is seen by many commentators as being in decline and culturally outdated, nearly half of all young adults invited to a church service by a friend or family member would attend. very likely, âhe said.
The results of the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics census showed that the number of people reporting “no religion” was increasing rapidly.
It found that Christianity remained the most prevalent religion (52 percent of the population), with Catholicism being the largest Christian group in Australia (22.6 percent), but almost a third (30 percent) said they had no religion in 2016.
âAustralia’s religious makeup has gradually changed over the past 50 years. In 1966, Christianity (88%) was the main religion. By 1991, this figure had fallen to 74%, then to the figure of 2016, âABS reported.
âThe growing percentage of the Australian population declaring no religion has been a trend for decades and is accelerating. The number of people not declaring a religion has increased significantly, from 19% in 2006 to 30% in 2016. â
But Sophie Renton, chief executive and social researcher at McCrindle, said in their analysis of the findings the researchers saw it differently.
âWe see it more as a loss of ‘cultural Christianity’ which is due to the number of Australians who regularly attend church remaining stable, during the period when the proportion of Australians identifying with Christianity is declining; [then] it shows that there is largely a stable base and so it is really, rather than necessarily, a rise in secularism … a decline in cultural Christianity, âRenton explained.
âThe new data we have came out of the [COVID-19] The pandemic really makes it clear to us that there is this renewed sense of meaning and a new spiritual search among Australiansâ¦ thinking about the meaning of life or thinking about their own mortality.
Among the most surprising and encouraging data in the report was the fact that churches were seen as making a difference and viewed positively within the community.
The results showed that more than half of Australians (53%) place more importance on a strong local community than three years ago, with the local church seen as ‘a key element’.
The report states that three in four Australians (76 percent) agree that churches in their area “are making a positive difference for their community.”
“So the ubiquitous meaning [among churches] that “people think they were overwhelmed” or “what we have to offer in our church is not necessary” – the community is actually saying that they appreciate and appreciate and see the positive impact of churches in their local community during this time, âRenton said.
However, the importance of the church in community building (54 percent) ranked well below local businesses (84 percent), local schools (81 percent), and cafes, malls, and restaurants (79 percent). Two-thirds of respondents said they would likely attend a church service online (64%) or in person (67%) if they were personally invited by a friend or family member.
âFar from religion and spirituality being the preserve of older Australians, Gen Z (45%) are twice as likely as Baby Boomers (21%) to be extremely or very likely to attend a church service online if they are personally invited by a friend or family member, âthe report says.
McCrindle’s findings were compiled from a survey of 1,000 Australians aged 18 and over from September 10 to 13 across all states.