One in three Australians are thinking more about God as a result of the pandemic

A new report, released this week has revealed that the experience of Covid-19 has caused many Australians to experience a spiritual search. A third of Australians have thought more about God (33%), while three in ten (28%) have prayed more. During the pandemic, almost half of Australians have thought more about the meaning of life (47%) or their own mortality (47%).

The research was conducted by McCrindle Research and surveyed*  Australians 18 and older in two  surveys this year. In each poll, 1,000 people were surveyed.

The survey showed approval for public Christianity.

  • Asked if people should be banned from sharing or displaying their religious views in public places and from public buildings and facilities 33% agreed, 67% disagreed.
  • Asked whether they thought Australia would be better off without Christianity, churches and their influence, 33% agreed, 67% disagreed.
  • Asked whether Christian practices in public life such as parliament opening in prayer, oaths in court being taken on the Bible or Christian chaplains in hospitals and jails should be stopped  39% agreed 61% disagreed.
  • Younger Australians were more likely to agree with these suggestions, with 59% of Gen Z agreeing that public practices of Christianity listed above, should be stopped.

Three in four Australians (76%) agree that the churches in their local area are making a positive difference to their community.

Religious discrimination is an issue in Australia the survey found. 29% of Australians reported having experienced religious discrimination, which means that about half of Australians with religious affiliations have experienced discrimination.

  • 12% of people said they had “definitely” been discriminated against.
  • 17% “somewhat”
  • 23% “no not really”
  • 48% “no, not at all”

Younger people were more likely to say they had been discriminated against on religious grounds.

  • 51% of Gen Z
  • 41% of Gen Y
  • 24% of Gen X
  • 13% of Baby Boomers
  • 4% of Builders

Younger Australians also found that two-thirds of Australians are likely to attend a church service either online (64%) or in-person (67%) if personally invited by a friend or family member. Far from religion and spirituality being only for older Australians, Gen Z (45%) are twice as likely as Baby Boomers (21%) to be extremely or very likely to attend an online church service if personally invited by a friend or family member.

Mark McCrindle, Founder and Principal of McCrindle Research says, “This data is worth reflecting on a little longer: in this seemingly secular era, where the church is perceived by many commentators to be on the decline and culturally outdated, almost half of all young adults invited to a church service by a friend or family member would very likely attend.”

The report from City Infield is available to download.

*Editor’s note: we originally reported these results came from September survey, but we understand more than one survey was involved.