Australia - Religions
According to the 2001 census, 67% of citizens considered themselves Christians, including 26% Roman Catholic and 20% Anglican. About 15% of Australians consider themselves to have no religion, an increase of over 35% from 1991. Less than 0.03% of those responding claimed to practice aboriginal religions. A 1996 census indicated that almost 72% of Aborigines practiced some form of Christianity while 16% subscribed to no religion; the 2001 census did not provided comparable updated information on. By 2002, increased immigration from southeast Asia and the Middle East resulted in growth in the numbers of those practicing Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism.
Constitutionally, there can be no state religion or state aid to any religion; the exercise of any religion cannot be prohibited, and a religious test as qualification for public office is forbidden. However, in a 1998 report on freedom of religion in Australia by the federally funded but independent Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC), the Commission stated that "despite the legal protections that apply in different jurisdictions, many Australians suffer discrimination on the basis of religious belief or non-belief, including members of both mainstream and non-mainstream religions and those of no religious persuasion." Many non-Christians have reportedly complained to the HREOC that the dominance of traditional Christianity in civic life has the ability to marginalize large numbers of citizens. Since then the HREOC and a Parliamentary Committee have been working of anti-discrimination measures and legislation.