Australia is an odd country in terms of church/state relationships. We have govt. funding for a school chaplains program (staffed mainly by evangelicals), yet we are one of the most secular countries in the world. Australia has more Buddhists than Baptists!
In the latest issue of WSJ, there is a piece on Australians losing their faith based on statistics from the 2011 census.
Australia is turning its back on religion.
That’s the latest finding from a census completed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which shows more than one-fifth of the nation’s 21.5 million inhabitants now claim to follow no religion at all.
Compare that with the first census taken a century ago, when a broadly similar grouping—including agnostics and atheists—made up just 0.3% of the 4.5 million population. Or with the U.S., where a comparable 2008 survey found just 1.5% claiming not to follow a faith.
The biggest area of decline is among the 20-35 year olds, who are the largest group for having “no religion.”
To be sure, Christianity remains the dominant religious category by far in the census—with a hefty 13.2 million followers. However, it now accounts for only 61% of the population, compared with 96% in the 1911 census. The findings echo surveys that depict a sharp drop-off in church attendance.
Australia is a land of self-made men who love to worship their creator!