Western Australia was founded by what was basically a clique of middle to upper class protestant Englishmen. In the early years religion played a very important role in the colony and some of the
first buildings to be erected in each town were the churches.
The local church and the town hall were the social hubs of most towns and there was little tolerance for anyone who was not of the Protestant faith. Irish Catholics were initially unwelcome but
gradually they became part of the religious landscape.
Despite the presence of Afghans, Japanese and Chinese for most of
the history of the state, the main stream of society remained predominantly Christian until full blown multi-culturalism was embraced in the 1970s.
Today Australia is home to just about every religion that the world has to offer and for the most part each is accepted by the other and a great deal of tolerance exists. So far religion has not
impacted in any major way on politics and it is to be hoped that Australia will not go down the road America seems to be on with its highly intolerant attitude to non-Christian religions.
The freedom to follow the god of your choice is an important part of the nature of Australian society and the religious tolerance that seems to exist today sets Australia apart from many other
parts of the world were various religious groups often clash violently with each other.
Religion no longer plays such an important role in Australian society as it once did but it remains a wide spread influence in the community.
The fastest growing belief system in Australia is atheism. As we mature and gain more knowledge about what is real in our world, we have less need for fictional accounts of how things work.
Religion has held our species back but as science begins to answer many of the questions about life, religion begins to fade away (as it should).