The number of people reporting no religion continues its upward trend, now at 38.9 per cent of the population.
Christianity does have plenty of followers in Australia though and remains the most common religion, but for the first time, fewer than half of the population – 43.9 per cent – identified as Christian.
Australians identifying as having no religion jumped in this year’s Census. Source: SBS News
“I think what it particularly says is people who might have in the past said ‘I am Christian’ because of a family tradition are no longer doing that,” said the assistant bishop of the Melbourne Anglican Diocese, Bishop Genieve Blackwell.
An art installation at Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral called Gaia is another example of the church’s efforts to connect with more people.
The Gaia exhibit at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne has so far drawn in 100,000 visitors. Source: SBS News
The seven-metre wide, rotating 3D artwork of the world has so far drawn in 100,000 visitors.
“[We are] often trying to work out what are the needs in a community and how the church can be a blessing.”
On his very first day living in Melbourne, Indian migrant Vinit Sharma sought out a Hindu temple. The 33-year-old says worship is essential for him.
Hindu devotees at Sri Durga Temple in northwest Melbourne. Source: Supplied
“I cannot live without coming [to pray], because I feel very high vibration in the temple and full of energy,” said Mr Sharma.
The IT trainer attends temple at least once a week, joined by his wife Rashi Sharma.
Rashi (left) and Vinit Sharma feel worship is essential Source: SBS News
“It is very important because it is a part of our culture,” said Ms Sharma. “This is something we are born with. It is in our DNA.”
“That is really proud news for our community that we are growing. It is really, really happy news,” said Mr Sharma.
A changing demographic
“We are trying to establish the infrastructure for the growth of Hinduism and temple,” he said.
Kulwant Joshi and Gurpreet Verma outside Sri Durga Temple in Melbourne. Source: SBS News
The temple’s leadership also foresees a need for Hindu schools and aged care.