Christianity in Australia is on the decline. Making headlines around the world, it’s a religion currently facing scandals and dividing public opinion. Christianity has suffered steadily declining numbers, too, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Census data, which shows nearly a third of all Australians say they have “no religion”.
In new SBS documentary Christians Like Us, 10 Australian Christians with vastly different beliefs live under one roof for a week to confront the controversial topics of their faith. They will grapple with what makes a good Christian, and the role religion plays in modern life. The documentary follows in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Muslims Like Us, which aired on SBS in 2018.
It’s a week of shocking revelations, emotional outbursts and surprising insights as they tackle sexual abuse in the church, abortion, gay conversion therapy and women as priests.
SBS Director of TV and Online Content Marshall Heald said: “Christians Like Us explores what it means to be Christian in Australia in 2019. The 10 participants showcase a diverse range of views, and are each deeply passionate and opinionated about their faith. Through debate and discussion, the series invites Australians to engage with the complex elements of Christianity and the issues currently facing the faith.”
The housemates range from fundamentalist to ultra-progressive, charismatic to controversial. Some live their lives by the word of the Bible and others take a more modern interpretation of their faith.
Chris is revealed to be a gay man who underwent years of conversion therapy at the hands of the church, while Marty believes homosexuality is wrong and it is possible to teach gay people to change their gender identity. Reverend Tiffany is an Anglican priest at a progressive church in Brisbane, who is immediately put at odds with Assumpta who, although also Anglican, is very opposed to women as priests and believes women should not be in a position of authority over men.
Daniel is a strict Coptic Catholic who is saving himself for marriage, whereas Jo is a theology teacher and progressive Catholic who has no issue with sex before marriage. There is also Hannah, who the other housemates are shocked to discover is a Mormon. Most of them don’t even consider Mormonism as a Christian faith, so her mission is to prove them wrong.
Christians Like Us reveals topical and charged conversations, emotional debate and at times, conflict in the house. Ultimately, the participants are wrestling with the hardest question of all – in the face of rapidly declining numbers, how can they bring Australians back to the Christian faith?
Christians Like Us is produced by CJZ for SBS.
Christians Like Us airs over two nights at 8.35pm, Wednesday April 3 and 10 on SBS.