Religion in Melbourne Australia reflects the diverse multiculture society of Melbourne.
Close to 30% of Melbourne residents list their religious affiliation as Catholic. The next
highest responses were No Religion at 21%, Anglican 12%, Eastern Orthodox 6% and
the Uniting Church 4.0%.
Other religions in Melbourne are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus collectively
account for 7.5% of the population.
Four out of ten Australian Jews call Melbourne home. The city is also residence to the
largest number of Holocaust survivors of any Australian city. To service the needs of
the vibrant Jewish community, Melbourne's Jewry have established multiple
synagogues, which today number over 30. Melbourne's largest university - Monash
University is named after prominent Jewish general and statesman, John Monash.
64% of Melbournians consider themselves Christians. The city has two large
cathedrals - St Patrick's for the Roman Catholic and St Paul's for the Anglicans.
There are 600,000 Muslims in Australia, but are noted for their diversity from more
than 70 countries with wildly disparate cultures. Melbourne's Muslim community is
scattered throughout the metropolitan area but is
particularly numerous in the northern suburbs. The suburbs with the highest numbers
of Muslims (according to the 2001 census) are Meadow
Heights with 5195; Reservoir, 2467; Dallas, 2462;Noble Park, 2283; Coburg, 2176;
Thomastown,2149; St Albans, 2067; Broadmeadows, 1935;
Lalor, 1861; Dandenong South, 1833. There is also a Muslim presence in Brunswick,
Preston and Doncaster. Almost all these areas have businesses ranging from halal
butchers and restaurants to other ethnically based enterprises. Check out the Muslims
in Melbourne page.
The majority of Australian Hindus live along the Eastern Coast of Australia and are
mainly located in Melbourne and Sydney. As a community Hindus live relatively
peacefully and in harmony with the local populations. They have established a number
of temples and other religious meeting places and celebrate most Hindu festivals.
The first large group of Buddhists to come to Australia, came as part of gold rush most
of whom stayed briefly for prospecting purposes rather than mass migration. In 1856,
a temple was established in South Melbourne by the secular Sze Yap group. The first
specific Australian Buddhist group, the Buddhist Study Group Melbourne, was formed
in Melbourne in 1938, however it collapsed during the Second World War.
Melbourne and indeed Australia are highly secularised, with the proportion of people
identifying themselves as Christian declining from 96% in 1901 to 64% in 2006 and
those who did not state their religion or declared no religion rising from 2% to over 30%
over the same period.
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Religion in Melbourne Australia