POINTERS March 2022
POINTERS March 2022
INSIDE THIS ISSUE OF POINTERS:
The Future of Faith Communities in Australia
As faith communities are reconstituted following the COVID-19 restrictions, many are finding that they are not the same as they were. In the past two years in which there have been lengthy periods of separation, some people have died, and others have found they could well manage without the face-to-face communities. In Australia, COVID-19 may well have accelerated the decline in faith communities that has been apparent for more than 50 years. Questions are being asked about the future of faith communities. What forms should they now take? To address this question, we need to examine carefully the trends that have been occurring.
Attitudes to Homosexuality among Adult Australians
While the plebiscite on homosexual marriage showed that the majority of Australians supported the legalisation of such marriages, there was no information from that plebiscite on how people of different religious backgrounds voted, although suggestions were made on the basis of geographical location. Most church leaders, apart from the Uniting Church and some sections of the Anglican Church, campaigned against such marriages, mostly on the ground that homosexual relationships were wrong. However, those people identifying with the various denominations did not necessarily vote the same way. The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (2018) provides more information on the attitudes of Australians by religious identity and by their levels of church involvement.
Changes in Australians’ Concern for the Environment
With bushfires, floods and other natural disasters occurring more frequently throughout Australia, the population’s attitudes towards climate change and environmental concerns are changing.
Climate Change and Young Christians: New Research
Tearfund Australia recently released a report on Australian Christians’ attitudes towards climate change and the role churches play in addressing environmental concerns. Titled ‘They Shall Inherit the Earth’, the report summarised research undertaken by NCLS Research using a combination of externally published data, National Church Life Survey data and additional online surveys.