The religious landscape from 1945 to the present in relation to:
The current religious landscape
Students learn to:
Account for the present religious landscape in Australia in relation to:
Christianity as a major religious tradition
Rise of New Age religions
Christianity as the major religious tradition
The significant decline in the number of Christians regularly attending religious services, especially in the Anglican, Uniting Church and Presbyterian denominations, can be attributed to the aging population, the lack of migrant intake and the general dissatisfaction impacting on other mainstream Christian groups.
Roman Catholics are continuing to increase numerically, though not at the rate of the population because of its younger membership and substantial migrant intake.
The significant increases in the Pentecostal figures can be attributed to factors such as the lively nature of its worship, its emphasis on contemporary music, the strong sense of community and spiritual support it provides, the charismatic leaders which lead the congregation and the clear cut answers it provides for times of uncertainty.
• Pentecostalism is an evangelical (fundamentalist and focused on conversion) and charismatic (a strong emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit) strand of the Christian religion.
The slow down in the increase of Pentecostal figures in the last 10 years can be attributed to the 'revolving door syndrome' which recognises that large numbers of Pentecostals remain with the Church for a relatively short period of time and because many Pentecostals were encouraged by their leaders to write "Australian Christian Church" rather than "Pentecostal" on the 2001 census.
Changed Australia from being mono-cultural, mono-faith to multi-cultural, multi-faith.
Since World War 2 and the lifting of the White Australia policy there has been much more diversity in migration and an accompanying increase in the diversity of religious groupings.
Migration after World War 2 led to increased number of Catholics from countries such as Italy, Malta etc.
This also increased numbers of Orthodox Christians from Greece and Eastern Europe.
After the ending of the White Australian policy in 1972 migration developed from a larger range of countries bringing a wider range of religions.
Migration has led to significant increases in the numbers of people who are Buddhist, Muslims, Hindus and Jews.
Buddhists came from Indo-Chinese countries - Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia - and in more recent times Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.
Muslims came from countries such as Indonesia, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, Bosnia.
Increases have also occurred in Christian denominations where there is a large non-Anglo population - Orthodox (Eastern Europe) and Catholic churches (from predominantly Irish to include Mediterranean, Eastern European, Asian, South American, African members).
Increased presence of a variety of religious groups has also led to a greater appreciation of this diversity.
The vast majority of people affiliated with religious groups in Australia were born into that religion.
The phenomena of swapping between denominations or groups of the same religious tradition is known as denominational switching.
Denominational switching is more common in Protestant Churches than in the Catholic Church.
The majority of Pentecostals have moved from another Protestant denomination to join the Pentecostal group.
Pentecostal is the term used to