School of Arts

TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS – UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE OF LGBTI PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIAN PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC CHURCHES

My name is Mark Jennings, and I am a researcher in religion with the School of Arts at Murdoch University.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities are significantly, if often covertly, represented in Australian Christian congregations. 2011 census data indicates that Christianity (40%) was the second highest affiliation of same-sex couple partners in Australia. However, the status of LGBTI people in churches remains a significant bone of contention in many Christian churches and organisations.

Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity (PCC) is one of the fastest growing religious movements globally and in Australia. The attitudes of well-known Australian PCC leaders towards LGBTI issues have been uneven, but often reflect the moral conservatism associated with the movement. It is therefore hardly surprising that the experiences and stories of LGBTI individuals who consider themselves members of PCC congregations have, with a few notable exceptions, often remained concealed. In this research we hope to make these important stories known, and build a greater understanding of how a modern religious movement has interacted pastorally, socially, culturally and theologically with an often marginalised group of people.

If you would like to participate, and you have a story to tell in relation to your experience as an LGBTI person who has attended or continues to attend a PCC church, it would my privilege to hear from you.

Thanks so much for your time.
Dr Mark Jennings
Phone: +61 8 9360 2964
Email: m.jennings@murdoch.edu.au

This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (2015/190). If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an independent person, you may contact Murdoch University’s Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 or e‐mail ethics@murdoch.edu.au). Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and you will be informed of the outcome.