News

Christians set to become a minority in Australia

Tracey Joynson

EASTER Sunday may be one of the most important Christian celebrations, but for many Australians it will just be about chocolate.

The proportion of Australians who identify as Christian is falling fast, down over 8% points in the last two years.

And if the current trend was to continue, Christians will soon be in the minority in Australia, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

In late 2011, Christians outnumbered the non-religious by more than two to one with  60.9% of Australians  (11.4 million) identifying as Christian compared with 29.2% (5.5 million) who said they had no religious affiliation.

But in the latest quarter October to December 2013, 52.6% of Australians (10.2 million) said they were Christian, while 37.6% (7.3 million)  said they had no religion.

If the recent trend continues, fewer than 50% of Australians may be self-identifying as Christian by this time next year.  

Another 8.3% of Australians (1.6 million) currently identify with a non-Christian religion, only slightly above the long-term average of 7.6% since 2009.

Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said the results were not necessarily about belie but rather our changing attitudes to religious affiliation.

"The decline in the proportion of Australians who say they are Christian-whether Catholic, Anglican or another denomination-coupled with a similarly sized increase in the number who tell us they have no religion, could reflect a growing level of genuine atheism or agnosticism, or instead simply a shift away from identifying with organised Christianity, despite ongoing theistic faith," Mr Morris said. "Likely, it is a combination of both."

"Either way, many factors could be contributing to the fall in the number of Christian adherents in Australia.

"For example, some morally conservative religious doctrines may be contrasting with progressive attitudes toward personal issues such as abortion, societal issues such as same-sex marriage, and global issues such as the use of condoms in the fight against the HIV pandemic.

"The recent trend also coincides with the public pressure for, launch of and media attention given to the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse which has, as one focus, alleged crimes by religiously affiliated personnel and cover-ups by church organisations."

Topics:  christianity, editors picks, religion, research




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Don’t be a statistic in dangerous surf conditions

Surf Life Savers are warning swimmers, surfers and boaties to be aware of dangerous surf conditions this weekend. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Surf Life Savers are warning of big surf

Lismore rockfest Mazstock will explode hearts

Maz Scofield the North Coast Queen of Rock annd roll and contact for the third  MAZSTOCK 2011 event on the Italo Australian Club. picture Jacklyn Wagner

Rockers converge on Lismore in June

Scrabbling to discover the history and joy of word play

The history of one of the most popular board games started in New York.

Scrabble was originally called Criss Cross Words

Latest deals and offers

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home

We’ve found 8 rentals available on the Northern Rivers

2/22 Sunnybank Drive, Ballina

It's obvious there is a rental shortage on the Northern Rivers