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Queensland poll reveals slip in church influence

Fewer than one in five Queenslanders regularly attend church services, according to a survey published in yesterday's Sunday Mail newspaper.

The survey also suggests almost three in four don't believe churches have done enough to help victims of sexual abuse committed by church officials.

The paper comments that "religious scholars believe Australians can no longer relate to church teachings, which have been tarnished by child-sex scandals and scrutinised by a more sceptical and multicultural society."

It points out that Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show a quarter of the population see themselves as having no religion, compared with a century ago, when Christians represented 95.9% of Australians.

The Sunday Mail survey revealed about 27% of respondents do not believe in God. About 7% said the church was more important to them after the September 11 and Bali terrorist attacks.

The paper quoted Anglican Bishop Ron Williams' observation that in many areas "the church is finding an increasing number of people wanting to establish a sense of belonging and acceptance that is offered by the churches".

Sunday Mail (payment required)

Boredom keeps us away from Church (3/7/02)
Weddings decline reflected in Catholic statistics (30/8/02)
National Church Life Survey
Irish losing faith in Church but not in God (7/11/02)

17 Feb 2003