Four in ten (42 per cent of) Australians would go to an Easter service if invited by a close friend or family member, according to a survey by NCLS Research.
Another 19 percent of respondents – in the Australian Community Survey, conducted in December 2022 – said they were unsure if they would accept the invitation. Meanwhile, 29 per cent (three in ten) said they would not attend, and 10 per cent said they had no church-attending friends or family to invite them.
While 42 per cent of Australians might attend an Easter service, the actual numbers of attendees was much lower, at just 17 per cent – suggesting the need for more invitations.
“People are more receptive to attending church at a significant time like Easter – so go ahead and invite them,” urged NCLS Research Director, Dr Ruth Powell.
“Interestingly, people from all age groups were equally likely to say ‘yes’ to an invitation,” she added, highlighting that there were no statistically significant differences between young or older Australians when it came to their likeliness to attend an Easter service.
Some groups, however, are more likely to say ‘yes’, including women, people with a university degree and people born in
non-English speaking countries.
“People are more receptive to attending church at a significant time like Easter – so go ahead and invite them.” – Dr Ruth Powell.
“When having conversations about Easter, churchgoers should be aware that Australians may not know as much about the Christian faith as you might expect,” Powell warned.
Four in ten (41 per cent of) Australians surveyed said they have limited or no familiarity with Christianity. Although six in ten (59 per cent) reported that they have a strong understanding of, or are mostly familiar with, Christianity’s teaching and values.
Significantly at Easter, over half of respondents (53 per cent) believe Jesus was a real person who actually lived; while one-quarter (26 per cent) said they were unsure; and one in five (21 per cent) said they thought Jesus was a myth or fictional character.
The key to engaging people with Jesus this Easter is personal relationships, the NCLS stressed: “The 2022 Australian Community Survey data shows Easter is an excellent time for churchgoers to invite family and friends to join Christian celebrations and have respectful conversations about matters of faith.”