Sunday, October 04, 2009

Australians vote Jesus as #1 most significant figure in history

I'm indebted to Rowland Croucher for alerting me to this intriguing piece of news...

In Research commissioned by 54% of Australians - both believers and non-believers - ranked Jesus as the number one most influential person in history. He beat Albert Einstein - who came in at second place (16%) - and Charles Darwin, third at 9%.

Approximately 5 in 6 (83%) said Jesus was a real figure from history.

Of those who ranked Jesus top, 43% believed he had miraculous powers, and that he was the son of God. It seems Australia still has faith: 2 out of 5 Australians stated they practice a religion and only 27% said they didn't believe in a God or universal power of any sort.

1 in 10 (10%) thought that if Jesus returned today he would be unemployed.

While the majority of Australians don't practice a religion (60%), nearly 3 in 5 (57%) pray at various times during their lives with over a third (36%) praying to God.

Of those who pray the regularity varies dramatically, with 29% praying daily. 19% are part-time prayers, praying just several times a year.

The most common situations for prayer are when people are faced with challenging times (36%) or when a loved one has fallen ill (34%). However over 1 in 3 Australians also pray when they're thankful for something good that has happened (34%)

Surprisingly Gen Y proved the most traditional generation when it comes to praying, choosing traditional methods of prayer practices such as closing eyes, placing hands together and bowing heads, which were most common amongst young adults.

3 in 5 have no particular rules for their praying. This tendency increases with age. Older Australians (aged 64+) are the most likely to have no particular rules for their prayer.

* 63% of Australians turn to their partners/spouse for help and emotional support and half of Australians turn to other family

* Nearly half (49%) of Australians turn to their friends

* Nearly a third (28%) of Australians turn to God in their time of need, while 15% turn to Jesus

* The web offers the least support with only 6% of Australians turning to online friends and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter

* Only 4% turn to the Internet to consult with sites such as Google.

Daniel Willis, co-founder of Jesus: All About Life, commented, “This research gives a great insight into people’s beliefs about Jesus and their faith today. The fact that Jesus is revealed to be the most influential figure in history shows his message is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago and people still look to him as source of inspiration.

"While not all Australians follow a religion this research reveals that many people still pray expecting an answer and especially turn to others and faith when experiencing tough times and are in need of support.

"It is surprising that Gen Y appear to be more traditional, returning to the values and practices of their grandparent’s generation to help them in times of uncertainty."

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