Most Australians want religion taught in state schools

The Roy Morgan Research Single Source Survey has revealed that Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of teaching religion in Government schools, although but the trend is down.

In the March 2005 quarter, when asked, "Do you think religion should or should not be taught once a week in Government schools?", the majority of those surveyed (62%) said religion "should" be taught, while only 30% said religion "should not" be taught in Government schools.

8% were undecided on the issue. Although still a high majority, the number of Australians who think religion should be taught in Government schools (62%) has fallen 4% since the March 2000 quarter when 66% of Australians were in favour. Over this five year period the fall in support is evident across all age groups and in both country areas and capital cities.

The Roy Morgan website summary reports that detailed analysis by population subgroups over the period January to March 2005, shows some interesting differences. The Baptists were most in favour of religion being taught in Government schools (88%), followed by respondents from the Uniting church (77%). Respondents from the Methodist (76%), Anglican (71%) and Presbyterian (70%) churches were also resoundingly in favour of religion being taught in Government schools. Catholics (69%) were marginally less likely to think that religion should be taught in Government schools.

Of those Australians who said they have no religion, 35% said religion should be taught in Government schools, with 56% saying religion should not be taught, and 9% undecided.

The Roy Morgan Single Source Survey 2005 interviewed 14,632 Australians aged 14 and over between January and March this year.

Reduced Majority of Australians Favour Teaching Religion in Government Schools (Roy Morgan International 17/5/05)

19 May 2005