Faith is not in decline around the world. Religious affiliation is growing and faith remains a vital part of the life, culture, thinking and behaviour of individuals in Australia, positively impacting society and culture in many and varied ways.
In our multi-faith and multicultural country, religious freedom is an essential basic human right. People of faith and the organisations that have grown out of our faith traditions make a massive contribution to things such as education, healthcare, aged care and an array of social services in our nation.
It is important that people of faith – those who are regularly connected to organised religion, and those who simply regard themselves as believers – mark the faith they identify with when participating in the National Census.
Saying “yes” to your belief matters because it:
- Allows people of faith, their religious leaders and government representatives to credibly and confidently contribute to the public discourse on a variety of issues such as the economy, education, healthcare and social services.
- Helps to underline the importance of freedom of belief in Australia and also enables leaders to understand the proportional breakdown of beliefs so as to best nurture interfaith harmony that is a feature of our multicultural nation.
- Provides decision makers with vital information for effectively planningfor the future of our nation such as the location of places of worship and the many ‘good works’ done by people of faith across religious traditions.
- Provides a snapshot of who we are, including what we value and what drives us. For so many Australians, their values and reasons for the way they act stem from their religious beliefs.
- Can be used as a future determinant of the allocation of roles and government resourcing and co-funding with faith groups who make a massive contribution to society in education, healthcare and social services.
Stand up and be counted when you participate in the Census this Tuesday 9 August 2016.
With thanks to the Diocese of Wollongong.