The Influence Of Religion On Australian Society
|📌Published:||21 September 2021|
Over time religion has had both a positive and negative influence on Australian society and continues to do so. Religion has a positive influence on Australian society, shown through interfaith activities being created and crime is reduced. However, religion also has a negative influence on Australian society by people still being judged from past events and religion causing riots.
Europeans settled in Australia in 1788, bringing over Anglican religion. Since then more cultures and religions have been brought over to Australia, making it a multicultural society. Events like the Gold Rush brought cultures like Chinese over to Australia. Lots of people from different countries with different backgrounds have migrated to Australia. The most popular religious background migrating to Australia since 1970 had been Muslims. Muslims coming from countries like Vietnam, Turkey, Britain, Lebanon etc. The religion that people classify themselves has changed over time. As time has passed when completing the census more and more people have been ticking ‘no religion. The 1911 census data shows that only 10,000 people or 0.4% of people chose the ‘no religion’ option. Comparing that to the 2016 census data where just over 7.0 million people or 30% of Australia chose the ‘no religion’ option with an average increase of 3.9% per decade.
Nowadays suburbs in Australia are filled with a wide range of different religions. Some suburbs are filled with more people from the same religion than others. For example, Essendon is known for being a mostly Catholic suburb. You can find over 20 Catholic Churches and around 18 Catholic schools in Essendon. Likewise, Balaclava is a very Jewish suburb. Where there is around 8 Jewish Synagogue and around 10 Jewish schools. Geography has an influence on religious affiliation. Most people when moving to a new area or living somewhere want things and places close by that is part of their religion. From a place to worship and pray to their God/s to education. For example, if someone is Jewish they would want to live in an area where they live close by to a Synagogue so they don’t have to travel far to participate in prayer.
Religion has been able to have a negative influence on today’s Australian society. Religion in a way to judge different people because of their religion. Whether it’s because of the way they dress or act. One of the major ways people judge each other is past events. September 11th, 2001 was an event that everyone either remembered or got told about. This terrifying attack impacted a lot of people at the time and many years following. It ended up causing a big separation between all religions. Making people feel less safe in this multicultural country. The different religions along with this event caused a riot to happen in 2005 known as the Cronulla riot. White Australians were targeting people wearing traditional covers and having tan skin. Australians believed that all Muslims were like and believed that same thing as the pilot that caused 911. The Australians wanted the Muslims to know that this was their country and not to mess with them.
Along with having a negative influence on Australian society religion has a positive influence on Australian society. Because of religion lots of interfaith activities have been created. One of them being Harmony day. The purpose of Harmony day is solely to celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism while reducing discrimination and lets everyone accept difference. Embracing new cultures, making sure that everybody is included in society and bringing equality between different cultural and religious groups. With the hundreds of stories about refugees on the Harmony day website, Harmony day targets primary school students wanting to teach them that ‘everybody belongs’. Since 1945 more than7.5 million people migrated to Australia and 85% of Australians agree that multiculturalism has been good for Australia. Religion is able to give people a sense of purpose ending with a reduction in crimes. Teaching them the difference between right and wrong. The 10 Commandments including ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ etc, Catholics are given straightforward rules of essentially do’s and don'ts on living. Another example would be the Golden Gold, ‘Do to others what you want them to do to you’, which is a rule basically on how to live your life by treating others kindly like how you want them to treat you kindly.
Overall religion has and continues to have both a positive and negative influence on Australian society. People are still judged for events like 911 and riots being started like the Cronulla riot has had a negative influence on Australian society. Nonetheless, interfaith activities like Harmony Day have been created and crimes being reduced has a positive influence on Australian society.