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Study says negative perceptions of Church holding back evangelisation

Research carried out by the Bible Society of NSW says the Church is virtually the last image that should be used by Christian organisations to attract followers to God.

The study, carried out by Market Access Consulting, has found that the most apparent barriers to Christian beliefs and practices relate to perceptions of the church.

Those include pedophilia in the church, perceived intolerance towards gay and lesbian lifestyles, perceived lack of equality on the role of women, hypocritical behaviour of church leaders and Christians, and Christian leaders being seen as intolerant, hypocritical and judgemental.

Bible Society NSW communications manager Martin Johnson said that while the findings are not overly surprising, the depth of feeling against the church is.

The society commissioned the research to help with its new marketing campaign, to be released next year.

"The positive attributes associated with the essence of Christianity have been badly tainted by perceptions and experiences of the formalised practices of Christianity," the report says. "Christian churches were strongly associated with intolerance and lack of acceptance, things seen to be directly contradicting some of Christ's most basic messages."

Mr Johnson said that while respondents were critical of the church, they were not of its founder, Jesus Christ.

The Bible Society's new campaign, Jesus. All About Life, while still being formulated, was expected to acknowledge difficulties with the church's image while embracing the positives of Christian life, he said.

Christianity tainted by church image: study (The Sunday Age 12/9/04)

Churches should take yellow brick road to reaching people (The Guardian 11/9/04)
Bible Society NSW | Jesus: All About Life | Research Table of Contents | Buy Research | Media Release
Market Access Consulting

13 Sep 2004