Friday, April 10, 2009

Christian beliefs still strong, says survey

[The Sydney Morning Herald] 10 Apr 2009--More than four in 10 Australians who do not consider themselves "born again"' still believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 does not believe he existed.

These were two of the surprising results from an independent survey of 2500 people, said noted author and church historian John Dickson, the co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney.

The survey, to be published today, found that out of the 85 per cent who did not identify as born again - including those of other religions - 45 per believed in the resurrection.

Dr Dickson said the number who believed in the resurrection included agnostics and secularists because the total percentage was far higher than the remaining Christians surveyed.

"We are staggered. We thought the survey would show the profound scepticism of Australians. Instead it shows there is a base-level assumption among the Australian public that accepts the Jesus story even if it has no relevance to their lives."

He said the survey wanted to explore the understanding of non-churchgoers, so the results were produced from those who were non-religious, or from another religion, or who loosely identified with Christianity.

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