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Christianity on the Decline in Australia; Eastern Faiths Increasing
Christian Post ^ | 06/26/2012 | Stoyan Zaimov

Posted on 06/26/2012 11:49:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

A national census has revealed that while most Australians profess Christianity as a belief, the religion as a whole in the country has been on a steady decline, while the number adherents of Eastern faiths like Buddhism and Hinduism has grown.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently revealed its first set of findings for 2011, which showed that Christianity remains the dominant religion among Australia's 21,507,717 population, and was claimed as the faith of practice by 61.1 percent of respondents – although that figure was down by almost 3 percent from 63.9 percent in 2006.

Of those Christians, 25.3 percent identified themselves as Catholic, 17.1 percent as Anglicans, 5 percent as Uniting Church (a union of the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia) and 2.8 percent as Presbyterian and Reformed – meaning that every major Christian denomination in Australia has suffered a decline in membership from 2006.

What is more, between 1986 and 2006, the number of Hindus in Australia increased sevenfold, while the number of Buddhists has fivefold. The number of Australians with no religious affiliation rose to 22.3 per cent in 2011 from holding 18.7 percent of the population in 2006. In the 2006 census, 55,000 people even selected "Jedi" as their religious affiliation, a belief system stemming from George Lucas' representation of "the Force" in his "Star Wars" series.

The recent trend in Christian decline in Australia may very well be attributed to a notable cultural shift. India, a largely Hindu country, was the leading birthplace of immigrants coming into Australia, at 13.1 percent – although that was followed closely by U.K. immigrants at 12.1 percent.

Asian immigrants also accounted for a large number of people moving to Australia, with China and the Philippines among the leading countries of origin.

"This is fundamentally shifting the cultural mix of Australia," the 2011 census executive director Andrew Henderson said. In total, about one in four Australians were born overseas, and as many as 43.1 percent of people had at least one overseas-born parent.

While Australia allows same-sex partnerships, described as de facto relationships that hold the same rights as heterosexual ones, there were 1,338 same-sex couples in Australia who identified themselves as married. The vast majority, or 96 percent of respondents, however, answered that they were in de facto same-sex relationships.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish the second half of its findings in October. Information about the number of respondents to the 2011 census was not readily available.

TOPICS: Current Events; Eastern Religions; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: australia; christianity

1 posted on 06/26/2012 11:49:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
I think it was G.K. Chesterton who said the problem with folks who don't believe in God is not that they believe in nothing, but that they'll believe in ANYTHING.

Humans are restless for God, many just don't realize it. So if the religion into which they're born, or in which they spend their formative years stops being something that challenges them to know God and increase in holiness, they'll find something that seems to feed the urge they have. That's why too many people describe themselves as 'spiritual' but not religious.

Of course, some of that is just plain sinfulness. They don't like being told that they shouldn't do what they want to do, because they've convinced themselves that what they want to do is absolutely fine, so why shouldn't they? That's one reason so many young people part with their religions over the 'sexual sins'. THEY think engaging in that behavior is OK, and don't like being told it's not. No one is explaining to them WHY it's not OK; not only is it not good for their immortal souls, which they're not even thinking about, at their ages, but it's also not good, ultimately for their health or their psyches. That message might reach them where they are, because there is evidence about how sex with multiple partners isn't good for one's self-esteem, and leads to many unhealthy behaviors.

2 posted on 06/26/2012 3:49:24 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

Very true SQ, especially your last point about how sex with multiple partners has devestating psychological consequences for young people. There is too much family breakdown in Australia, and people feel free to abandon their children and their marriages. Much suffering results.

3 posted on 06/26/2012 5:23:34 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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