The Influence Of Religion On Australian Society

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Australian society has been influenced by religion of the British First Fleet since the arrival. Before this, Aboriginals as the original inhabitants of Australia, had spiritual beliefs based on traditions and philosophical teachings brought down by generations. After the British Fleet arrived in Australia, these beliefs were neglected and the Church of England became the predominant religion. These early influences of governing Christian based beliefs are evident in modern Australian society as Christian based holidays like Easter and Christmas continue to be celebrated on the official calendar. Furthermore, religion influences the political system when enforcing laws and also in legal practises like swearing on religious texts in court. While …show more content…
Before the arrival of the British First Fleet in 1788, Aboriginals and their spiritual dreamtime beliefs dominated Australian culture. Once the predominant British and Irish convicts arrived in Australia, Christian based faiths like the Church of England, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran and Methodist became the only religions approved (Green, Samuel, & Paul, 2012). Thus, the colony’s government only accepted people of these faiths discriminating against non-believers (State Library New South Wales, 2012) . For instance, Aboriginals whose faith was nothing like Christian based religions were segregated and treated negatively (Mooney, 2015). This dominant influence of Christian faith on Australian society, was evident to an overpowering extent through the actions of the British government at the time who supported the Church of England with financial benefits (Goldburg, Blundell, & Jordon, 2009). Furthermore, Christian faith domination continued century’s later to an overwhelming extent as evident in the 1901-1911 Census where the Australian society declared that 96.1% of the population was Christian. These statistics dropped to an alarming extent in the 2011 Census to 39.7% demonstrating a dramatic decline in the influence of Christianity on Australian society in recent years. (Henry & Kurzac,

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