The religious landscape currently exhibited in Australia has been developed and has fluctuated significantly through the impact of immigration since the end of World War II, 1945. In 1947, just 0.5 % of the population claimed to be non-Christian and 0.3 % claimed to have no religion, thus promoting the fact that Christianity was the most prominent religion in Australia. The end of the War stimulated much immigration from Europe, as did the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Such organisations as the NSW Ecumenical council and The National Council of Churches have assisted in the ecumenical movements and immigration as a whole has resulted in increased interfaith dialogue between a diverse religious landscape that is Australia. The end of World War Two was a major stimulus for the immigration and diversity in regards to religion that was about to change Australia. Thousands of immigrants came to Australia from their war-torn countries seeking peace and a new beginning. The Assisted Passage scheme was put into operation in order to help British migrants reach Australia, which was then altered to welcome immigrants from any European country. The White Australia policy which was in place at this time was reflected through the immigration into Australia coming from Europe only. As a result of the significantly large number of immigrants from Europe, the population of Roman Catholics rose nearly 6% between the late 1940s to the late 1960s. The majority of migrants entering Australia from Italy, Croatia, Malta, Germany and Hungary contributed largely to the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic adherents in the country. A large number of Greek immigrants which arrived in the country also boosted the Eastern Orthodox community from 0.2% to 3% by 1981. The addition of other Christian denominations than the already existing, mostly Protestant churches in Australia caused and saw a need for a rise in Ecumenical movements – the restoration of unity between Christian denominations...
Bibliography: 7th September 2008, “Religion in Australia Since 1945” by Magdalene Catholic High School
Date Unknown “Summary Points” from Religion and Belief Systems Australia Post 1945
Date Unknown, “Basis and Objects” from NSW Ecumenical Council
Paul Bulmer, Katherine Doret, 2008, HSC Studies of Religion I & II, Vivienne Joannou, Pascal Press, Glebe NSW, p 12-28.
Janet Morrissey, Peter Mudge, Adam Taylor, Greg Bailey, Paul Rule, 2005, Living Religion (Third Edition) Pearson Education Australia, Melbourne Australia p 261, 262,267-270
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