Talk:Religion in Australia

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Interpretation of ABS data[edit]

Most discussion on how significant religion is in Australia tends to draw on the data collected by the Bureau of Statistics in the five-yearly census. I think it's dangerous for ANY interpretation to be made of the raw data and for the results to become "fact" in an encyclopaedia. The question is not a compulsory one on the form. This must weaken the seriousness of responses. (The Jedi story below highlights that.) To describe the ticking of a box for a religion as indicating "at least nominal adherence" is of dubious accuracy. And I'm not sure how one can nominally adhere to a religion. Adhering implies following the rules. Nominal means in name only. It doesn't seen a meaningful adjective in that context.

Show us the data. Publish the question. Don't interpret the results.

Elsewhere in the article the expression "members of" (a given religion) is used. Football clubs have members. Political parties have members. Churches don't. Not in meaningful sense that can be counted as an accurate figure anyway. That term should not be used without definition. Is a member of a church someone who ticked the box at the census or someone who regularly attends? Clearly the numbers from the census are much, much bigger than church attendances.

Too many assumptions. HiLo48 (talk) 00:01, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree wtih HiLo48. I would add that we should also publish the exact question that was asked on each of the census forms in order to facilitate accurate interpretation. (talk) 17:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

RE: Big Call[edit]

This is not really a big claim, and has been mentioned in Australian documentaries etc. It is generally considered plausible and likely. In the same way, contact from Chinese ships during naval exploration is considered possible.

"The history of Islam in Australia pre-dates European settlement. From 1650, Muslim fisherman from South East Asia communicated and traded with Aborigines from Australia's north. Some inter-marriage occurred."

--Dauodwa (talk) 00:20, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd have to say that particular reference doesn't look particularly like it's drawing from reliable sources. Do we have anything that isn't based on "it seems likely": because for all we know it's just from the same sites that claim Islam predicted all of modern science. :) We have to separate the bullshit and "might possibly potentially if you think real hard and hope" from the more generally accepted. I haven't come across any history books mentioning intermarriage and language influences etc etc. Sure: the camel herders and the like. Well documented, no one is disputing that. But extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, we're not here to solidify fairytales. NathanLee (talk) 03:04, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Further reading of that ABC site suggests it's nothing more than verbatim copy of a rather selective view of history written by someone who regards anything and everything Islamic to be the absolute truth (through rose tinted glasses).
"He was generous to those he defeated, however, and many converted to Islam. "
There are countless references of just how "generous" Mohammed was to those he defeated.
I think it's fairly safe to assume this is not a reliable source for this kind of information. It doesn't speak in neutral terms, it talks within the assumption that god did indeed dictate the teachings, rather than "Islam is the belief". NathanLee (talk) 03:16, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I would thank you not to swear, but your point about the site is, I suppose, reasonable. I only chose that one as it was the first that I found. I shall find another source and use that in its place. Additionally, I should think that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation would have not placed that on their site were it not considered reasonable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dauodwa (talkcontribs) 02:11, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

The ABC's generally a good resource, but I'd have to say that part of the site looks a little hodge podge. e.g. most of the religions are nothing more than one or two links. I would think that if this were a referenced, researched reference it would be a bit more impartial and bit less "from within the belief structure" if you know what I mean. If it's a "it might possibly have happened" and that's an extreme minority view: it doesn't belong in wikipedia. If the page had been stating things in a factual tone rather than from one that has swallowed the belief structure. If you think that it is a reliable source then by all means put it back in, but as I said it sounds like something lifted from one of those "islam was everywhere before everything and everyone" (e.g. like the stories about how islam influenced every native tribe around the world). I think the dream time stories, animal spirits and the rainbow serpent are a long way from Islam. NathanLee (talk) 03:20, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I still think that the topic of Islam's involvement in Australia prior to European settlement ought to be addressed in some way. Additionally, you are confused in this idea that Islam influenced every tribe around the world. The Islamic view is that a prophet or message was sent to every tribe in the world. Nonetheless, your argument is more suited to a discussion of Islamic theology as a pose to the historic involvement of Islam in Australia. Thanks for your input. --Dauodwa (talk) 13:08, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

That's exactly the sort of misinformation that I worry is getting spread here. :) Aside from whether or not there is any clear evidence about islam making it to Australia prior to european settlement (which may well be true, I'm not discounting it.. just wanting a source that isn't just a rough collection of links and "from inside" the religion based reporting): Fact is that a prophet or message was not (and could not have been) sent to every tribe in the world. e.g. there are uncontacted/voluntarily isolated tribes who cannot have received this all world tribes message of Islam. So I'm afraid that although the Islamic view might be that, in the real world that has not happened. Just like there are some religious folk who believe Jesus was at some stage in the USA despite complete and utter lack of any evidence to suggest so. NathanLee (talk) 18:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

As I said, you are reverting to arguments about Islamic theology. Now I am not an expert in that area, and neither are you. However, I would make it clear that when I say "was sent", that is in terms of Prophets. With regard to isolated populations, the message is sent, and this is seen in the fact that there is not place on earth where people cannot find out about Islam. Regardless, this is turning into a discussion of Islamic theology, and although you keep saying that is what you are trying to avoid, it is also the same thing which you continue to mention in depth and attempt to provoke.

LET IT END HERE: I have understood your point about the specific source, however the information is nonetheless of significance in terms of Islam in Australia, in the same way that information about Post-European settled references to Muslims in Australia is significant; it is all apart of Islam's role, both historic and contemporary, in Australia. Some people however insist on throwing opinions of Muslims out of proportion, and attempting to attack the integrity of Islam and Muslims through this rather small sub-section of the Religions in Australia article. Again, I thankyou for your comments. --Dauodwa (talk) 10:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Big Call[edit]

Muslims had contact with Australia and her people before European settlement, Macassans (an ethnic group from eastern Indonesia) began visiting the Australia in the seventeenth century.

This is a big claim it needs to be substanciated with verifiable documentation. Gnangarra 14:08, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


Revert - Why[edit]

  • Islam, total 281,600, 1.5% a 40.2% change (an estimated 400 000 Muslims including those with dual citizenship, non-religous Muslims, and others who wish not to disclose their faith).
  • Judaism, total 84,000, 0.4% a 5.2% change (an estimated 150 000 Jews including those with dual citizenship, non-religous Jews, and others who wish not to disclose their faith).

I reverted the article after these two Faiths were singled out. Why put estimates against exact figures? Duel citizenship doesn't exclude you from the census records. Non-religious, not disclosing are already shown in the figures. Gnangarra 22:19, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Non-religious Jews, okay. What are non-religious muslims? And non-religious jews are by definition not followers of Judaism. If they were followers of Judaism they would be religious jews. --Sumple (Talk) 05:31, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

ABS demographic info and commentary[edit]

Further information on demographics is important, however how this is included is important - where info is sourced from the ABS and labeled as such, i.e., the table, then additional info IMO should not be conflated into the table. Explanations and clarifications of ABS data are useful but the source should be identified if it is not ABS. -- Paul foord 12:54, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


"In Australia more than 70,000 people declared themselves members of the Jedi in the 2001 census. The Australian Bureau of Statistics issued an official press release [3] following a large number of media enquiries on the subject, prior to the 2001 census. The ABS stated that the code for 'not defined' would be substituted for any respondents entering 'Jedi' in the religion question, and stressed the social impact of making misleading or false statements on the census."

Should this information be included?

I was working in melbourne then and an email was being circulated just prior to the census encouraging people to enter 'Jedi' as their religion. From memory they were aiming for a critical mass of 200,000 - 250,000 as this would have forced some form of recognition as a religion. (sorry very vague its been a while).
It's open to interpretation the 1st question is was the census recording an actual religion or highlighting a problimatical event created for/by the census. The second question is if it's an actual religion does met the definition of a religious organistaion under Australian Law and as such be recognised. The article is about religion in Australia so therefore one would expect to information on every religion in Australia what ever it legal status.
Under Australian law there is no restriction on religion, this article even mentions that. The challenge is if you believe the religion to exist(ed) then you add it to the page. If you think its just a creation to manipulate the census then it doesn't apply to this article Gnangarra 15:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Jedi is added to the Religion in New Zealand#Jedi religion, and it even grants itself its own section. S♦s♦e♦b♦a♦l♦l♦o♦s (Talk to Me) 21:18, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree, and it seems everyone commenting here does also. If people have filled out Jedi as a faith for Australia, and the census indicates the statistics, I don't think it is the role of Wikipedia editors/authors to be excluding this information. It's not for us to decide what people were thinking, how many were genuine, or to exclude a faith because we think it is not genuine, where others may think it is. Wikipedia articles should include all relevant information and while we could include notations, and it should be up to the reader to decide what they think of the Jedi faith. I am sort of suprised it hasn't been included. Deathlibrarian (talk) 01:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

A problem may be that the Census bureau did not separate it out in 2001 in its released statistics but instead merged it with the 'not-defined' category. The Table doesn't have any info on the 2001 census and does have Jedi for the 2006 and 2011 censuses. The chart reflects only clumps of religions (except for Catholicism and Anglicanism) so for 2001 Jedis get clumped with not clearly stated and 2006 and 2011 with other religions (though given the intent they should probably be put with 'nones'). A short item seems appropriate. --Erp (talk) 05:58, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Christianity in Australia[edit]

I think, like Hinduism in Australia, Islam in Australia and Judaism in Australia, Christianity in Australia should also be a seperate topic. Religion in Australia can give a broad view of all religions in Australia, but topics like Islam/Christianity/Hinduism in Australia give a more detailed account of that particular faith. Therefore, i am in support of Christianity in Australia being a different topic to Religion in Australia. Tarins01 03:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Agree. Also needs more details on Buddhism here and in a general article about Buddhism in Australia. --Sumple (Talk) 03:32, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Buddhism in Australia is now up and running.ßlηguγΣη | Have your say!!! - review me 02:46, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
The reason that Christianity in Australia has been sawn off by admins like enochlau and also users like Xtra and Beneaththelandslide is that it seems that you have started the article as an attack page or a point-making exercise. It will probably have a proper article once everything has calmed down.Blnguyen | Have your say!!! 03:35, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I would like to see such a standalone page if there is: a) sufficient relevant information, b) it is written neutrally and not to attack. Xtra 04:21, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Copy Edit[edit]

The bulk of the article should be the ABS stats/demographic, legal, and an historical overview. Then the article should then be more of a directory to various topics with 1 or 2 paragraph summarires of each specific religion including any demominational breakdown. Gnangarra 05:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Interfaith section[edit]

I am wondering if it is alright to put this kind of stuff in. A section that I put in about it in Buddhism in Australia was sawn off by an anon. I thought it wasn't inflammatory, and it was sourced.Blnguyen | Have your say!!! - review me 08:06, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

proposed merge of Christianity in Australia into Religion in Australia[edit]

I oppose merging the Christianity in Australia article into Religion in Australia. Christianity is the largest religion in Australia, but not the only one. --Scott Davis Talk 14:12, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

New version of Christianity in Australia Copied from Talk:Christianity in Australia

Is the above talk relevant, or are we starting from scratch?

Also, the bit "A number of current and past politicians present themselves as Christian in a partisan manner" seems a bit dodgy - there's no citations - it seems to be original research based on the authors' memory. Andjam 09:00, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

It looks like Paul's new article uses some of my draft article mentioned above, but other bits are absent. We are going to need to keep a watch and tight reign on unsourced or badly sourced statements. While I think this is an important article to have, it also has a history of vandalism and bias. I have noted that I oppose merging this article to the general Religion in Australia. Unfortunately, as I will be on holidays for the next month, my editing will be sporadic. --Scott Davis Talk 14:20, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I wrote this using Scott's draft as a start, but tried to be pick up on some aspects not covered. I agree work is required in mentioning individuals. It certainly can be improved. To achieve some balance in addressing Religion in Australia would appear to require an article on Christianity in its own right as there are articles on Islam in Australia and History of the Jews in Australia. To merge it would unbalance that article if the topic is to be addressed effectively. The Christian section would be limited to something quite short. Paul foord 15:41, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Oppose merger for reasons above Paul foord 15:41, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed the merge tags. --Scott Davis Talk 15:00, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

interfaith respect[edit]

I was wondering about adding a small section here and a larger article separately detailing information developed about police dealing with religious and ethnic differences. I was doing research on religious implications for oaths and ran across a remarkbably developed governent guide published in Australia and think it deserves some space - it also published some of the demographics reported here.

Here's the links I found:

Commissioner for Declarations, The Duties of especially pages 30-33.


There is a guide referenced/mentioned here as being very popular in this report.

it's mentioned here but has been pulled for further review towards a 3rd revision.

see Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau

However the wayback machine has the second edition still....

A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police

While the document is copyrighted I would consider rendering the majority of the text into the main article if justification can be found - I think it's that good.--Smkolins 04:25, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

More references directly or probably linked - OPENING ADDRESS Ivan Kolarik National Police Ethnic Advisory Bureau, A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity (New Zealand), National Consultations on eliminating prejudice against Arab and Muslim Australians - Strategies Document, Achieving Harmony through Religious Understanding a resource manual for teachers--Smkolins 04:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a reasonable topic to be covered. There also appears to be little information in the article about interfaith movements or relations between religions. Most of what is here so far is historic demographic data. Anyone adding relations info needs to remember WP:NPOV and WP:V so we don't end up with a hate diatribe. --Scott Davis Talk 14:22, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm wondering if the center of the article could be a significant amount of the text of A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police which has already passed through layers of review in a multifaith context - however while the document doesn't have any copyright notice the website it came from does. So what's the rule - it would be nice to use at least some of the art work in the document - making the article basically about this publication (not sure if I can track down rev 1, and rev 3 hasn't been released yet) and as much of the text. Then that article would be a //main article// that could be pointed to from this and similar articles. A number of the above refs could be secondary references for broader context.--Smkolins 02:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Something more primitive than a rough draft is here [[1]]--Smkolins 03:18, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, somewhat passed just a rough draft but there are serious questions editors need to make some judgements on that I am not qualified to determine about copyright content from an Australian government document even if done in good faith. Comments please. [[2]]--Smkolins 15:11, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, its about final. I'll be posting it as an article soon. Comments? Most of the religions have several of their own pages but either the content or the angle of information presented in the Guide seemed to demand more or less length in this article vs referencing other wikipedia articles. [[3]] --Smkolins 00:24, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Well my attempt was soundly trounced. Apparently I wasn't following copyright right. I tried a different article but it remains in limbo. If anyone has interest in interfaith respect perhaps they can help make a descent article reflecting a rare document. See A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police and Emergency Services/Temp‎.I had a small section in this article briefly reviewing the same document but it was deleted as a followup to deleting the original. If anyone thinks it's worthy perhaps someone could see about adding something similar.--Smkolins 00:07, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

No religion commentary[edit]

I chopped this text from the No religion section as it all seems like unsourced commentary and makes a lot of assumptions about why people tick the 'No Religion' box on the ABS census An increasing number of Australians no longer align themselves with institutional religion. Surveys like the Australian values survey indicate that many of these people believe in a personal God or higher power and have a spiritual experience. They simply do not want their spirituality institutionalised. On the other hand, some in a conscious and organised way find non-religious responses to their search for meaning. Some of these may belong to various humanist organisations and work for a better and less divided world gained through human means. There has also been an increase in various New Age self-fulfulment philosophies and semi-religious activities like astrology and the occult, although this may not fall into the "no religion" group alone. Ashmoo (talk) 16:48, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The sources upon which following two opening sentences in this section( i.e. "Australia is one of the least devout nations in the developed world, with religion not described as a central part in many people's lives.[29] This view is especially prominent among Australia's youth, who were ranked as the least religious worldwide in a 2008 survey conducted by The Christian Science Monitor.[30]") are based are contradictory. In actuality, Reference 29 explicitly contradicts Reference 30, drawing the opposite conclusion with regards to the religiosity of Australian youth! The two references do not seem to corroborate at all. In the light of this discrepancy, I think the statement "This view is especially prominent" should be removed, or the sentences broken up and completely reworked. Jgarth (talk) 09:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Removed this text from "no religion": A popular replacement for "Atheist" during the 2001 Australian Census was "Jedi" (see also Jedi census phenomenon).[citation needed]". The lack of citation and the interpretation of trolling as demonstrating no religion is an unreasonable one. (Unregistered Wikipedia User)

You're right to revert on the basis of uncited, but the Jedi thing was a real phenomenon. I don't think it's fair call it trolling. A better structured and referenced description of the Jedi story would be a valid part of the article. HiLo48 (talk) 12:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Prayer in parliament?[edit]

It seems that parliamentary standing orders in each state and territory, and in federal parliament, require that a prayer be said on each sitting day. I think this is worth mentioning as a reflection of religion in Australia. Does anyone know of any good references where this is discussed? Otherwise I can reference standing orders of each of the individual parliaments. Barrylb (talk) 13:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

A few things I would like to see added to the article:

  • Religion in schools
  • Religion in public institutions (local government, state parliament, federal parliament, courts, public service)
  • Religion in politics (how much religion plays a part in elections and day to day discussions)

Only hard part is getting good references. Especially for things that are merely common practice rather than written in law or similar. Barrylb (talk) 05:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Wicca/Paganism in Australia[edit]

On this particular page, a certain user keeps deleting my 'Wicca/Paganism in Australia' paragraph and I want to know why. I've checked my facts, I've added citations & I'm not breaking any rules. So why is it being deleted? The page itself isn't being deleted, just the paragraph and the link in the 'Religion in Australia' Wicca & Paganism is one of many Australian religions and it has a right to be here just like Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. LilMizPiper

The main issue is notability. The following of this religion is small and it falls under 'other religions' in the table. We cannot list every minor religion in this article. Barrylb (talk) 06:13, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Seems the government of Australia has it's own standards about what is notable - A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police and Emergency Services - 2nd edition covers Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality; and Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh Faiths. That list reduces the "Other" category to some 92 thousand. Going through the 2006 census (here shows 53 listed groups down to 5000 members (most of them Christian denominations, many of them national versions like Greek and Serbian Orthodox). Of the "small" religions Sikh shows 26k, not 50k, Pagan shows 15k, Baha'i 12k, Wiccan/Witchcraft at 8k, Humanism about 7k, and Australian Aboriginal at just over 5k. Below 5k (not mentioning small Christian denominations) we have Taoist, Druse, Nature Religion, Satanism, Zoroastrian, Rationalism, Theosophy, Jainism, Pantheism, and Druidism above 1k members.--Smkolins (talk) 15:34, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
See if that is more acceptable and general.--Smkolins (talk) 19:52, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Nominal adherence to christian denominations[edit]

I have in the first paragraph used the expression 'at least nominal adherence to ...' This is because most of the people who claim adherence to a christian denomination do not attend church weekly.

Australians know this from their own observation, but below is evidence from a scholarly journal to back it up:

"However, less than a quarter of members of the major Christian denominations attend church weekly ... We can conclude that while there is a high level of religious affiliation there is not a strong level of commitment to religious institutions in both Australia and South Australia." (Gladigau K., West, Dr B., Flinders Social Monitor, No. 8, April 2007 (ISSN 1834-3783),

Cheers, Conollyb (talk) 12:01, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Detention Camps[edit]

quote from section about Islam: "notorious refugee camps where detainees have been kept for up to eight years without their case being considered."

this is absolute crap (sorry, no other way to put it). Anyone have a source? No? I'll be back in a month to edit this with references (a)cases are always considered, though there are sometimes significant delays due to the inability to fact check stories (b) problems and controversies with the system have existed before the war on terror (2001) (c) EVEN IF there has being a case of someone being detained for 8 years without consideration, the wording of this sentence is biased and implies that this is common. It should be reworded to "there are cases in which" or "there have being cases in which" (d) This shouldn't be in a place about Islam in Australia, it's has nothing to do with Islam. -- (talk) 00:00, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Request SVG version of File:AustralianReligiousAffiliationGraphWithoutTable.jpg[edit]

An SVG version is needed so that the graph is legible at smaller sizes. Such a new image should be designed to replace the existing JPEG version.  The Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop may be of help.

Thanks (talk) 06:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm working on a graph replacement using gnuplot and the data but need to modify fonts and probably colors. Feedback welcome. --Erp (talk) 16:08, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Children in the Census[edit]

Around 20%-25% of Australia's population would be minors. In general, parents fill in the census on their behalf. There would be answers to the religion question FOR these children, but not FROM the children.

While the ABS is free to publish the figures, is it reasonable to use here what a parent declared on the Census the religion of that child to be? A child cannot make an informed decision on his or her religion until nearing adulthood. That would mean that what a parent says about a child's religion should not be counted.

Is there a way that all children can be declared to be agnostic perhaps?

HiLo48 (talk) 08:14, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

I am concerned that, although this article has undergone massive editing in the past week, no-one has responded to my comment above. Most of that editing has been done by people who appear to be strongly religious, and probably Christian, so I am concerned that the lack of response means an unwillingness to address the issue. The lead says "...64% of the population claiming at least nominal adherence to the Christian faith." My point it that the claim is blatantly incorrect. Assuming some editors have read the above, but not responded, suggests to me that they have no response. I am therefore further encouraged to modify the wording of the article to clarify the truth. HiLo48 (talk) 20:37, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Maybe a re-wording to say something like "The 2006 Census recorded 64% of Australians as being Christian". Then the definition and source is clear. In the end though, regardless of what children decide when adult, the culture/religion etc of their raising is an important demographic point - as is 'how many Australians speak a language other than English in the home' etc Ozhistory (talk) 05:33, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police and Emergency Services[edit]

I think is a rare and interesting document and deserves an article but it apparently needs a wider audience for development or it's scheduled for deletion. I think (though this argument isn't in the article) that it's approximately the only document of it's kind. It's certainly the only one I've heard of except that New Zealand modeled one based on it. I'd welcome any thoughts as to the viability of the article. Smkolins (talk) 11:31, 27 April 2010 (UTC)


Oldest Mosque in the Southern Hemisphere[edit]

"Australia has both the oldest Mosque and largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere" is being ammended because Masjid Saka Tunggal located in Cikakak Wangon Indonesia is also in the southern hemisphere and it was built in 1288 A.D Daniel De Mol (talk) 12:57, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere[edit]

"Australia also has the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere" is being modified to "one of the larger Buddhist Temples..." as the wikipedia article on Bronkhorstspruit (in South Africa) claims that the Nan Hua Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, while the article on the largest Buddhist temple in Australia does not make that claim and even has an explanatory note which explains that the origins of the basis for the claim made by the temple website to be the largest are unclear Daniel De Mol (talk) 13:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Religion in Australia[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Religion in Australia's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 07:08, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Is this accounted for?[edit]

Bureau of Statistics figures show that in 2001 barely 10% named a Christian religion to which they adhered. Between 1996 and 2001 (a mere five years), the number of adherents dropped by 7%. The biggest denomination, Catholic was a mere 764,800 in 2001, amounting to a dismaying drop (for the church) of 13%. Anglican/Protestant, the next biggest denomination at 759,000, was steady. - --JimWae (talk) 08:43, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Well as it seems to contradict the census data taken directly from the statistics website, I would consider this source unreliable. --Erp (talk) 23:52, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Minor change[edit]

Reference #90 pointed to an article about the Australian mining boom which appeared in the same publication on the same day. I replaced it with a link to the article on religious demographics in Australia. Unfortunately, the entire site (it's one of Murdoch's) is behind a paywall. I have been told that the paywall can be bypassed by pasting the entire title of the article into a search engine and clicking on the link it provides, but don't know if there is away for the Wikipedia to accomplish that feat automatically.

On an unrelated matter, I'm posting this anonymously because I cannot remember my log-in details. All I have, is the email addy I registered with. Can anyone help me retrieve them? Maybe orderinchaos? He knows me as Fringedweller on some minor forum. I don't really wish to start another account.

Orphaned references in Religion in Australia[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Religion in Australia's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Census2011":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 08:55, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

2011 data[edit]

I reverted back to my last edit with some modifications from HiLo48 as I felt (a) having a table and the same information in the opening paragraph was overkill and (b) the reference (the government summary of the 2011 census) in the first paragraph did not agree with the numbers given (and no reference was given in the captions of either pie chart or table). The reference summarizes the information and it says 61.1% not 66.2% for percentage of Christians and as it is the officially summing up of the material it should probably be used. The pie chart is useful for giving a visual image of the ratios; however, I split Christianity into three parts (and note Other Christian is probably better than Protestant as it includes groups not traditionally considered part of Protestant [Roman Catholics and Methodists are closer in most things than either to Jehovah's Witnesses and Anglicans tend to be a bit fuzzy on whether they are Catholic or Protestant]). I also had moved the historical census table down to the demographics section. --Erp (talk) 04:42, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm happy with your simpler approach. Those really interested can follow the links and delve into the detail themselves. But I'm not really comfortable with the wording "adhering to some variety of Christianity". "Adhering" suggests a pretty strong connection with their religion, and for most Australians, that's not the case. Hence my attempt to simply say that the figures come from what respondents self-declared. We cannot call such people adherents. HiLo48 (talk) 05:25, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I have no problem with that. There are a few other things that are problematic as I'm not sure where the percentages for the really small groups are coming from. I might use 'declared' instead of 'self-declared' since in the case of children it is the parent's declaring for them. --Erp (talk) 13:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
And in the case of children, implying that they have chosen a particular religion is nonsense. If we were totally honest, children don't really have a religion HiLo48 (talk) 20:15, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Actually they can. First infants can't deliberately choose a religion or life stance (as the Norwegians would say) but somewhere between infancy and turning 18 most children do gain enough self-awareness and knowledge to make such choices. Certainly children are developing their views. Second in some countries children even infants legally do belong to a religion; we may disagree with the setup but it exists. Admittedly I don't think Australia has this setup (no tax revenue going to denominations according to declared membership) though it doesn't chilren and adults in the religious summary. --Erp (talk) 06:17, 30 May 2014 (UTC)


I just reverted the charts by User:Andreas11213 since his pie chart collapsed data (e.g., all forms of Christianity) into one category while the previous version provides more information to show the relative proportions of Anglicans and Catholics and other Christians and other religion and nones and didn't answer. I removed his second chart because it was replicating data that already appeared in a table immediately above in clearer form. --Erp (talk) 05:32, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Good move. Now we need to work on making some real sense of the claimed numbers. I have a beef with the use of the word "affiliation". It's plainly obvious that a lot of the people who tick the box for a particular Christian denomination are not actually affiliated with that church in any way at all. HiLo48 (talk) 07:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't say 'any way', almost all have either been baptized or confirmed in their respective Christian tradition even if they haven't participated since. Personally I think it would be interesting to document how much state support goes to religious schools (is it closer to the US system of almost none or the English system of the state paying for most). For instance seems to show that the government pays the bulk of the Catholic education. Also how much of the charitable functions are funded by the government. And what government assistance exists (e.g., the ongoing dispute on the government paying for school chaplains and "special religious instruction" --Erp (talk) 12:41, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Being baptised or confirmed 30 years ago is not an affiliation. The kid (at the time) probably had no effective say in it. The schools stuff would be valuable. HiLo48 (talk) 21:25, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Well actually it does. If you were baptised 30 years ago, you were born 30 years ago, which means that you would be old enough to fill in your own census. If you are 30 years old and and say that you are Christian in the census, you clearly still adhere to that faith thus making you affiliated with it. So you are wrong. Andreas11213 (talk) 00:49, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It is an affiliation but just a weak one. The person is still probably culturally Christian (e.g., celebrates Christmas, familiar with some of the Biblical stories [Old and New Testament] and Christian myths) which makes him or her different from someone who is culturally Jewish (e.g., celebrates Passover, familiar with some of the Biblical stories [Tanach and with a different understanding of some of them than a cultural Christian] and Jewish myths). One has to accept what they consider their affiliation for the purpose of this article (but one can also reference surveys in another section to show rates of belief [e.g., believe in God] or practice [how often they attend church]). Not sure where to discuss schooling perhaps make a new section on Religion Government interaction, put current Constitutional status as a subheading with another subheading on schools with a paragraph or two describing state support of religious schools [which likely varies from state to state and another paragraph or two of religion in purely state schools (Religious education, chaplaincy program), a third subsection on charitable status, privileges, liabilities, etc.. --Erp (talk) 03:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Irreligion in Australia tells us "In a 2008 global Gallup poll, nearly 70% of Australians stated religion as having no importance" and that attendance at Catholic masses on a typical Sunday is 12.2%. I'm tempted to label "affiliation" as a weasel word with no clear meaning, one that is used by church promoters to artificially inflate the level of interest in their faiths. HiLo48 (talk) 06:28, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm inclined to think of 'affiliation' as what the person thinks (though that might not be the best word) and 'member' as what the denomination thinks, I hypothesize that denominations that give average 'members' little power, inflate those numbers even though some of those members feel no affiliation (think Catholics where once a Catholic always a Catholic, even those excommunicated are still considered Catholic just not good ones). Denominations that give the average member power and so tend to clear the books of non-participants may have more people claiming affiliation than are on the denomination's books (in the US apparently about twice as many people claim to be UU in surveys than the UUA knows about). --Erp (talk) 02:05, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
What's UU? HiLo48 (talk) 02:12, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Apologies being US centric here. Unitarian Universalists (UUA is Unitarian Universalist Association), a denomination notorious for committees on everything and all members get a vote (admittedly Texas a few years ago tried to declare it (along with Ethical Culture) not a religion therefore not eligible for some tax breaks on the grounds and that it didn't require a belief in God). --Erp (talk) 02:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I see we have an article - Unitarian Universalism. Interesting. A bit of everything, it seems. I'm not aware of any activity from them in Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 02:51, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I did a bit of a check. There is an Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association which seems to have a total of about 10 groups across both countries. The census bureau classifies them as Christian but I suspect their numbers may be under a 1,000. Melbourne's church web site has some interesting history --Erp (talk) 15:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)


The figures quoted in the text of the demographics section consistently do not match those in the large table. Which are correct? F&M (talk) 02:54, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Can you give some specific examples? I did note some rounding, but, nothing notably off. --Erp (talk) 02:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Here’s a comparison of the figures in the text and in the table (text | table). Rounding would be fine, but the relationship between the two sets of figures is all over the place.
• No answer = 8% | 9.4%
• Christian = 60% (¶4) | 61.1%
• Non-Christian Religion = 7.9% | 7.2%
• No Religion = 22.1% (¶6) | 22.3%
• Buddhism, growth to 2.4% | 2.5%
If the the table is right, and rounding is desirable in the text, the text should give:
• No answer = 9%
• Christian = 61%
• Non-Christian Religion = 7%
• No Religion = 22%
Better still, both the text and table should give the same figures = the correct ones. F&M (talk) 04:24, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Given the nature of the actual question asked on the census, the figures are really so meaningless they don't belong in the article at all. Too much weight is put on the answers to an optional questions with no quality control on the responses. The precision you seem to want the article to show is nonsensical. HiLo48 (talk) 05:23, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Not meaningless especially since we know what percentage didn't answer. Just has to be treated carefully. I've double checked the reference for the pie chart and fixed some numbers in the text to agree with the source (and dropped Sikhism's numbers since that was not listed in the source). Someone needs to check other references, in particular the bit about declining percentages in the demography section. Dates also need to be placed in the text about some stats.--Erp (talk) 05:02, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Treating the data carefully would include removing all data for children that was entered by their parents. Children dragged along to their parents' church don't truly have a religion. There are many other similar considerations. HiLo48 (talk) 08:00, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Whether or not to include the data at all is a separate question. No one is served by reporting the figures inaccurately, or having a mismatch between text and table. Thanks Erp for cleaning it up. F&M (talk) 01:15, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

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racism: All East Asians look the same to me, all non religious people look the same to me[edit]

As an atheist I do not feel closer to an agnosticist than to a christian. Statistically the average agnostic is open to metaphysics. Most agnostics believe their knowledge is the measure of reason and when that personal savviness ends, the laws of the Universe not only could potentially cease, but also metaphysics - fundamentally non able to be described by reason/mathematically - might begin. Antimetaphysicals claim that metaphysics is nonsense, and nonsense isn't a possible cosmic model. Thus antimetaphysicals claims that the agnostics are silly and not potentially silly. Religious people are wiser, because even if they cannot understand that only thorough formalisms exist, they simply claim that their myth is a natural formalism. Thus antimetaphysicals are closer to religious formalists which made a mistake, than simpleton agnostics which believe potentiality means randomness without any wave function as an underpinning. Even randomness requires a medium with some rules to develop, othewise we have nothing - not emptiness but nothing. The Australian government focused on Christianity wants to mix Atheism with Agnosticism to distort our beliefs. This is called ideological distortion for political purposes! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:587:410D:7000:A980:8C84:FE98:2FD2 (talk) 09:23, 19 August 2016 (UTC)


There are a number of issues relating to the constitution and religion.

Although there's no established religion "God" is mentioned in the preamble.

This is missing from the article.

Further the 'freedom' to practice faith is not absolute. Some pacifist faiths were still prosecuted for practicing conscientious objections in WWI.

"The Family" a religious cult, arguably - were prosecuted for their beliefs on sex with children.

Female genital mutilation is not legal. Simply arguing "It's our religious practice" would not be a defence.

Montalban (talk) 01:36, 24 November 2016 (UTC)