Has Australia turned into a country of “No Religion”?

Australia has always been considered a Christian country but are those days numbered? If we are to understand the direction

Australia has always been considered a Christian country but are those days numbered? If we are to understand the direction that the Australian Census is heading then it could be changing.

The section “What is the person’s religion?” has always had “No Religion” low on the list of options, usually located after “Other”. This year’s Census, which will be conducted on 9 August 2016, will have “No Religion” on the top of options for the first time.

While some are seeing this sections reorder as a slight on religion, others are seeing it as the growth of our society. The Australian Bureau of Statistics asked for feedback about the content of previous Census, and the question of people’s religious affiliation received the most submissions. Kylie Sturgess, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, “We are a secular country, and we would like to see whether or not people are actually reflecting upon what we think is a secular country and saying yes, it truly is, and demonstrating it in Census data.”

The reordering has been said not to be a call for alarm as people that identify as religious can still choose their religion’s box but is giving the growing number of individuals who don’t identify with any religion quicker access to their option.

Do you think this is a slight on religion in Australia? Do you welcome the change?

  1. The watcher  

    It is a sign we are growing up as a society. Religion should be your own business, celebrated privately and not subsidised by the general public. The sooner we realise that the belief in any particular sky fairy is not relevant to day to day existence the better off we will be as a society. I look forward to when it is not even a question.

    • Marlee  

      I absolutely agree. The biggest fairy tale ever told is starting to be noticed as fiction, but people seem to cling to it as they think they may meet the family members who died first. It gives them some hope, but the more intelligent think otherwise.

  2. Athalie Schirripa  

    Australia as a Nation is moving further and further away from anything associated with Christian values……being replaced by Political Correctness and people hell bent on changing laws and introducing things that are polar opposites to Christian Faith at the detriment of our Children and Society in general. Victoria had Religous Education in schools……look what has replaced it….a so called program to educate children about bullying but in reality it is educating our young children about exploring their sexuality….these are primary school children!….and where are our rites as parents? There are boundaries for a reason and our country is going to pay dearly for turning away from God.

    • marilyn flynn  

      oh dear me…….. statements like this are the reason I and many others have turned away from religion. Please explain how we are all going to ‘pay dearly’ End up roasting in hell? No virgins to comfort us in heaven?
      It may pain you to learn that atheists are actually people with values too. To say we have no moral compass is an insult.

    • Wendy Tarkka  

      I so agree with you and your comments. What makes me grin, is while people like the above comments say it’s fairytale we don’t need religion, I see more and more secular families putting their children into Christian /Catholic schools, Why? I’m told it’s because of the values taught, and what is the basis of these core values? GOD given principles to live by….Seems to me the secular world is in denial!

      • The Watcher  

        God given principles? Oh, stoning impudent children? Raping slaves? Genocide? Stoning? Those ‘God given principles?’ Or perhaps its the sexual habits of so many priests that are so attractive to parents… please. Study your book and get back to me.

    • Mia Van Der Stam  

      I totally agree with you Athalie- it all worries me

  3. [email protected]  

    It is a pity that along with faiths all kinds we are not celebrating things like Christmas used to be a great day with the family all together with things that each family did Now in seems instead of a lot thought going into making it a wonderful day it’s a day at the beach or a paid meal somewhere We work on Sunday so no get togethers The same comment can be made about Easter for most its a long weekend Maybe I am just out of touch

  4. colin  

    like all “religions” they die and wither. The Roman and Greek Gods are a prime example/ and they were just as real as the Christian Jesus. I can say that as I don’t actually remember being there just as None of us can actually remember being there in Jesus’ time..

  5. Margaret  

    Religion is the cause of most of the worlds problems. My religion is “Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.” If everyone lived by this rule the world would be a wonderful place. A lot of people use religion as a crutch for their insecurity. I consider I am a good person in this world and don’t believe there is a life after death.

    • Marlee  

      I agree with this. I started to think for myself when I was about 14. The big fairy story about going to heaven is just that, a fairy story!

  6. Frank Smith  

    I don’t trust the statistics. Many people record the religion they were brought up in even if they don’t practice it. Others, like me don’t believe in God but accept most Christian ethical beliefs.

    • The Watcher  

      wow, most christian beliefs? So whats a fair price for selling your daughter into slavery? Do you have pre Sabbath stonings of homosexuals in your suburb? And when you get dressed you make sure your wallet is not pigskin? All in the bible. Christians cherrypick their morals and their beliefs from their book then get very upset when called out on it, yet feel free to call others fools, hellbent, idolators, heretics etc. Last thing I would want is christian beliefs.

  7. Barbara Chapman  

    If they have ‘no religion’ do they also have a box for atheist or Christian. There IS a difference between being religious or a Christian

  8. Joan  

    The Christian Australia of my childhood was not a good place for women and children to live in. Many who went to church on Sunday were cruel, dishonest and horrible the rest of the week. Religion is personal, and certainly should be kept out of education and politics.

    • The Watcher  

      You go girl!!!! Well said!

  9. Be  

    We dont need religion to tell us right from wrong…..humanity has always contrived a God or gods to answer the hard questions. Religion is cotrived by mostly men for the benifit of men and to control society. The ancient roots of Christianity Islam and Judaism were all contrived in the middle east where and when there was much cruelty, poverty and inequality.Education was only fot the very top echelons so here we go again, same old story. Education is the only answer although I feel it’s a long stretch given that religion has divided people so powerfully. Just be kind!

  10. Geoff  

    If you dont put a positive answer it will give the Immigrants a great advantage.Think about it.

    • The Watcher  

      Dang those immigrants all those Scots, Irish, Ghans, Italians oh wait…you dont mean THOSE immigrants do you, you mean “lowers voice’ those Baaadd immigrants…Everybody in Australia is an immigrant you fool, INCLUDING YOU.

      • Margaret  

        I was BORN in Australia, so am not classed as an ‘immigrant’!

        My ancestry is Irish, English & American.
        Many of us are from Irish & English stock, so what?

  11. Kim  

    Geoff – given your comment, is it safe to assume that you are of indigenous descent? If not, think about this — you’re of immigrant stock.

    • Janice  

      From Africa, over land-bridge, from Java.

  12. Leo  

    It’s a furfy. Everyone has a religion… we all worship something or someone!

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