According to research from November 2021 by the Australian Community Survey (ACS) and run by National Church Life Survey (NCLS) Research, 44 per cent of Australians believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead in some way.
The survey results, released in time for Easter, reveal some interesting insights into what Australians believe about Jesus’ resurrection, who he is and Christianity generally.
According to the survey, three in ten Australians don’t believe in the resurrection, and more than a quarter are unsure about their beliefs.
Half of the 44 per cent of those believing in the resurrection chose the statement that the Bible describes Jesus’ resurrection word-for-word. The other half chose the option that the Bible story contains some information that should not be taken literally.
‘We learnt that nearly six in ten Australians say they are familiar with the Christian faith’, says Dr Ruth Powell, NCLS Research Director. Over 20 per cent claimed to have a strong understanding of the teachings and values of Christianity.
Surprisingly, the research revealed that only half of Australians consider Jesus of Nazareth a historical figure – two in ten thought he was a mythical or fictional character, and three in ten said they didn’t know.
‘This is perplexing, given the wide acceptance amongst historians that Jesus Christ was a real person who lived in first-century Palestine’, says Dr Powell.
The survey found that 22 per cent of people accept that Jesus was divine or God in human form. A similar percentage of respondents believe he was a normal human being or ‘a prophet or spiritual leader but not God’.
The purpose of the ACS is to measure how Australians view church and social issues. NCLS Research also operates the largest and longest-running survey of local churches in the world, the National Church Life Survey.
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