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.

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