The failure of churches to accept homosexuality has been identified as the leading reason why Australians reject Christianity, new research suggests.
The research, commissioned by Christian media group Olive Tree Media, found hell and damnation and abuse within churches were turn-offs to Christianity, as was the Bible.
The survey found that although Australians could separate the perpetrators of sexual abuse from religion, most felt churches needed to do a lot more to address the problem. Nearly 30 per cent of all respondents said the stance of churches on homosexuality blocked them from engaging with Christianity.
Based on a national survey of more than 1000 Australians, including churchgoers and follow-up focus group sessions, the research was designed to underpin a series of videos aimed at tackling the top 10 "belief blockers" preventing people from adopting Christianity.
The videos will be shown on Christian television channels and on social media.
Head of Olive Tree Media and a senior minister with the Baptist Church in Sydney, Karl Faase, said he was not surprised by the findingsand said they showed that the Australian attitude of a fair go for all was still strong.
Mr Faase said the survey highlighted challenges faced by Christian churches, including the way the messages of Christianity were sold.
Celebrities speaking about religion was something Australians found repulsive.
Stories of healing and miracles were also found to repel Australians.
The survey found religion and spirituality were seen as separate by most Australians and the majority did not actively practise any religion.
"Australians seemed to be moving away from their religious roots, with three in 10 (29 per cent) expressing that whilst they had been shaped in a religious household and had religious connections, they were now no longer religious," the survey found.Gen Ys (aged 18 to 31) were most likely to have issues with Christianity, and baby boomers (50 to 65) were most likely to consider themselves Christian, with 41 per cent indicating this, compared with 24 per cent of Gen Ys.