Many Australians open to Easter church invite

(Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden)

With Easter approaching, Australian Christians should feel encouraged to invite friends and family to learn more about the reason for the holiday, according to the results of a survey from NCLS Research.

In their 2022 Australian Community Survey (2022 ACS), NCLS asked Australians about their understanding of Christianity and how they would feel about an invitation to church from believers close to them—with some surprising results.

While less than 20% of Australians attend a church service at Easter (17%), the survey found that 42% would be open to attending if invited by a friend or family member, a significant gap that offers a major opportunity for Christians to witness to those around them.

"People are more receptive to attending church at a significant time like Easter—so go ahead and invite them," says NCLS Research Director, Dr Ruth Powell.

The survey found that women, people with a university degree, and people born in non-English speaking countries were more likely to be receptive to an invitation to an Easter service, but age did not appear to be a major statistical factor in their answers.

"Interestingly, people from all age groups were equally likely to say 'yes' to an invitation," Dr Powell said.

The survey also explored the relationship the average Australian has with the Christian message, with the majority of respondents saying they were familiar with Christianity to some extent. Just over 20% reported a strong understanding of Christian teaching and values, while almost 40% said they were mostly familiar. However, almost 20% reported having little to no knowledge.

However, it was the responses when asked about Jesus that most reinforced the importance of the Easter message. While just over half of those surveyed said that they believed Jesus was a real person who actually lived, a quarter said they were unsure, and just over 20% said they believed Jesus was a myth or fictional character.

"This lack of awareness about Jesus is perplexing given most historians hold Jesus to be a real figure who lived in first century Palestine," Dr Powell said.

While many Christians may be nervous about inviting their friends and family to church, the survey results show that building relationships is essential in creating an environment where believers can invite their loved ones to learn more about Christianity, and about the historical figure at its heart.

Republished from Christian Today UK.