Re-Building Confidence as a Prelude to Ministry
In order for the churches to exercise ministry in Australia, there must be confidence in them. While confidence in a range of systems and organisations has been falling over recent decades, in 2018 just 11 per cent of the adult population indicated a great deal or complete confidence in the churches and religious organisations, having fallen from 22 per cent in 2009.
Analysis of data from the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (2018) identified some factors which contributed to this low level of confidence, including the following:
Most Australians feel that religious organisations are too powerful.
They also feel that religious organisations have contributed more to violence than to peace.
Many are concerned that religious organisations are a barrier to gender equity and that religious people are too intolerant.
Many reject the “knowledge” on which the churches are based, including the idea of God.
Building public confidence will need to address these issues of the perception of power, building the perceptions that the churches are contributing to peace, that they treat women and men equally, and that they are tolerant. It also means addressing its “knowledge base”, helping people to understand the meaningfulness of the concept of God.
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