Is Jesus real to Australians?

Australians' views of who Jesus is

Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Yet, in late 2021, only half of Australians (49%) view Jesus as a real person who actually lived. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Australians see Jesus as a mythical or fictional character. Around one in three (29%) don't know. Men are more likely to view Jesus as a mythical figure, than women. Higher proportions of older Australians assert Jesus was a real person, than younger age groups. 

Half of Australians see Jesus as a real person 

When it comes to views on Jesus Christ, around half of Australians (49%) view Jesus as real person who actually lived. Nearly a quarter (23%) see him as a mythical or fictional character and 29% don't know.

Women and men differ in views of Jesus

Women were more likely than men to say that Jesus was a real person who actually lived (52% vs 46%). Men (27%) were much more likely than women (17%) to assert that Jesus was mythical or fictional. Similar proportions said they did not know (31% women; 27% men).

 

Older Australians are more sure about Jesus than younger Australians

Six in 10 Australians aged 65 years and over understand Jesus to be a real person who actually lived. With decreasing age, this figure declines to only four in 10 Australians aged between 18 and 35 years. Nearly the same proportion of this younger age group (36%) said they did not know about Jesus. Similar proportions across age groups (19% to 25%) claimed that Jesus was a mythical or fictional character.

Authors:
Ruth Powell, Kathy Jacka
Data Sources:

2021 Australian Community Survey run by NCLS Research, November 2021 (n = 1,286)

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