In today’s politically correct world, where even chocolate companies are removing the word ‘Easter’ from the front of their egg packaging, how many people in Australia still celebrate the true meaning of Easter?
David Rajasekaram, local Anglican minister agrees that while numbers at church services are down across Australia, there is certainly a place for Easter and Christian beliefs.
“According to the ABS statistics, at the beginning of the 20th century, 90 to 96 per cent of Australian people were affiliated with a church denomination,” Rev Rajasekaram said.
“By the 2011 census statistics that figure had dropped to 61 per cent across Australia.”
“There are increasing numbers of young people growing up without church, or a Christian world view in their background,” Rev Rajasekaram said. “That alone makes it very difficult for us to ask people to make a decision about whether they believe or not, when they have no knowledge about what we are asking them to believe in. The church hasn't always presented the good news of Jesus in a way that's relevant, and some denominations have been very fixed in the style and format of their services, which has made it difficult for families with younger children.
“Past experiences can also put people off from attending church. Not only with the abuse that has been so widely publicised, but if a church has been unwelcoming, that will stop people attending.”
Rev Rajasekaram believes that the church always needs to be accessible to people, regardless of age or background. In a move toward this accessibility, Rev Rajasekaram’s wife, Rachel, is now running children’s church services concurrently with the adult’s service times, and the couple are involved with the Youth Group at the Hard Rock Gym on Friday nights.
“The Youth Group is fantastic for kids and parents alike,” Rev Rajasekaram said. “We are so lucky to have Ros and Glenn Stewart in our community. The kids enjoy some pretty exciting activities and their parents don’t worry because they know the kids are in a safe environment. Regardless of church attendance, the most important thing people need to consider is the good news of God's love, the new life and forgiveness He offers through His Son Jesus Christ. Making a personal decision about faith is infinitely more important than which church activities people are involved in.”