Australian researchers studied 400 members from a megachurch in Indonesia and divided them into several categories based on how seriously they took their Christian faith. They then presented them with an everyday scenario that many people around the world deal with–digital piracy. Digital piracy to most people ispiracy creative commons an innocent and acceptable practice, even among many churchgoers–although they are very aware of the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” Most of us have convinced ourselves piracy isn’t stealing.

Nevertheless, in this study the researchers found that those who were most likely to shun digital piracy and considered it as just plain wrong were Christians who took their relationship with God very seriously. They were the ones most likely to do things such as attend church, pray, read their Bibles, etc., on a regular basis. Their views covered one aspect of the study dealing with their feelings and opinions about the practice as it pertained to their thoughts on how it legally affected the creators of the digital work or what the law said about it.

A second aspect of the study dealt with behaviors surrounding digital piracy. It also rendered interesting results. When presented with the scenario of who or what could change their behavior toward digital piracy, respondents were given four choices–pastor, friends, religion, or God. Most respondents answered that only God himself could influence them to change when it came to participating in piracy, regardless of the level of their religious commitment. The researchers concluded from the study that churches working together with educational entities should teach kids from the earliest years about how wrong digital piracy is in order to make the biggest impact to discourage them from doing it. However, since several studies have shown that parents still have the most influence on their kids, their importance and involvement must be included also.


Ernesto, God Can Stop Piracy, Research Shows,, February 7, 2016.

Doug Bolton, Highly religious people have the strongest views against online piracy, study finds, The Independent, February 8, 2016.