Australia: Spirituality's fine by us but there's little faith in religion
By BARNEY ZWARTZ - THE AGE
Added: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 16:28:27 UTC
Australians see spirituality as quite separate from religion, with the former much more widely accepted, according to the results of a national survey to be released in Melbourne today.
What they really dislike is celebrities endorsing religion, stories of healing and miracles, and doctrines about homosexuality and hell.
Commissioned by Olive Tree media, the survey of 1094 people shows that while Australians are generally open to spirituality, they feel they are unlikely to find it in church.
Olive Tree director Karl Faase, who is releasing the report at a forum of 70 religious leaders, said the survey sought to identify the ''blocker issues'' that turned people off faith.
The obstacle that annoys Australians most is the celebrity endorsements of religion so common in the United States - 70 per cent said they were repelled by it, questioning the motives behind it. Claims of miraculous stories (58 per cent) also repelled non-believers.
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