As the cultural fabric of Australian society becomes increasingly varied, Centre of Citizenship and Globalisation Research Fellow, Dr. Anna Halafoff, examines why education about diverse religions and spiritual beliefs in Australia’s state schools is lagging far behind other nations.
Due to processes of globalisation, societies such as Australia have become increasingly culturally and religiously diverse. The 2011 Australian Census reported a significant decline in Christianity from 68 per cent in 2001 to 61 per cent in 2011, and a rise in non-Christian religions up from 4.9 per cent in 2001 to 7.2 per cent in 2011. The largest non-Christian groups are Buddhists at 2.5 per cent, Muslims at 2.2 per cent and Hindus at 1.3 per cent. Those declaring ‘No Religion’ also increased dramatically from 15 per cent in 2001 to 22 per cent in 2011. However, the way in which religion is currently taught in Australia’s government schools does not align with these demographics.
Click on the link below to read the rest of my article recently published in Open Forum: