Australia Religion







Australia Religion



Religion in Australia

Australia's founders had a vision on religion that centered on forbearance which made the new colony attractive to a variety of religious devotees and practitioners.

Many are individuals that suffered religious persecution from their own lands, found the open acceptance of Australia a reprieve.

Several thousand Prussian 'Old Lutherans' came to South Australia seeking refuge from religious persecution in their homeland.


They established their own particular form of Lutheranism in the Barossa Valley and to this day the Lutheran Church in Australia remains a separate entity to the official German Lutheran Church.



Immigration from countries of Mediterranean and Eastern Europe has resulted in a number of new Orthodox Christian churches being founded and recognized. Migrants from Italy, South East Asia and Africa have included adherents of established denominations, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, bringing greater diversity within older churches.

Even today, the religion on Australia continues to diversify as it grows. Supported by the constitution, it states that “the Commonwealth of Australia shall not make any law establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth” as stated in Section 116 of the 1900 Act.


Despite the influx of foreign beliefs and doctrines, the original aboriginal religion continues to thrive albeit in lesser number of practice. Australian aboriginal religion and beliefs still continue to thrive. Dreaming as it is called centers belief in potent beings that arose out of the land, fashioned and gave birth to people, plant and animal life.

The Dreaming beings as they are referred to, continue to have power over the natural world, but their compliance to impart their powers of fertility hinges upon people abiding the traditions and performance of certain rituals. In recent years, the religion in Australia has diversified far beyond what anyone could have imagined. The 2006 census identified the different religious factions in the country today. Sixty four percent of Australians identify themselves as Christian with 26% calling themselves as Roman Catholic and 19% as Anglican.

Australia Religion

Five percent of the country categorizes themselves as followers of non-Christian religions. Nineteen percent have labeled themselves as having "No Religion"; 12% declined to answer or did not give a response adequate for interpretation. According to the census, the fastest growing religion in Australia, during the intercensal period of 2001 and 2006, were: Hinduism by 55.2 percent, Non-religion by 27.5 percent, Islam by 20.9 percent, Buddhist affiliation increased by 17 percent, and Judaism by 6 percent.
Christianity was the sole religion to demonstrate negative growth, with the number of followers declining by 0.6 percent.


The major population rise was Non-religion which increased by 800,557 individuals. Buddhism, Islam and the Hindu religion followed suit with their own growth of worshippers.

Christianity was the only religion in Australia to decrease in devotees. This was noted as a decline of 78,513 people. During that same time the populace of Australia enlarged by 1,086,039.



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