Job woes prompt prayers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 December, 1998, 12:00am

Many people have considered seeking spiritual help because of the pressure of the recession, according to a survey released yesterday.

They include Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Taoists and atheists.

Nine religious centres of the Catholic Diocese interviewed about 1,200 people last month. Some 43 per cent were Catholics, 40 per cent said they had no beliefs and the rest were Buddhists or believed in other gods.

The findings showed about 40 per cent of respondents had experienced working difficulties in the past 12 months.

They had either been sacked, were underemployed or had had their salaries cut.

About 87 per cent of Catholic respondents said they prayed when faced with problems at work.

Half who believed in Buddha or other gods said they would seek support from their gods. Some 13 per cent believed in no gods but said they had also thought of seeking spiritual help, the survey found.

Researcher and Catholic Joseph Wong Keung-sang said the findings showed many people were struggling to keep their jobs. 'And they are so desperate that they have to turn to gods, even people who have no religious belief,' he said.

'They are keen to get some spiritual support as they are frustrated in real life. They hope to be comforted even though they are not getting real material help.' Mr Wong warned people against religious cults.