How Does Religion Affect Australian Society

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Religion is a pivotal aspect in society to date with a diverse array of religions known to be practised in Australia, creating opportunities to embrace individuality though also sparking social divisions. French sociologist, Emile Durkheim described religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden -- beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community”(Jones, 2011). So how does religion influence Australian society? With a vast incline in religions practised in Australia, it is extremely feasible to presume that it does affect Australia significantly. It is through cultural diversity, morality and ethics and laws in which the true relevance of religion in Australian society can be identified.
Religion has had an extensive influence on Australian society in regards to cultural diversity. With the implementation of a government policy in the 1970s introducing multiculturalism, this has seen a vast increase in the acceptance of diverse cultures into Australia. This not only created a coherent society but also allowed people to experience different religious beliefs and the cultural practises which stem from this. As identified in the 2011 Census, Christianity is one of the most practised religions in Australia where 61% of the population were affiliated with Christianity according to Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2012. This is followed by 22.3%
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It is through cultural diversity in the implementation of multiculturalism, morality and ethics where same sex marriage is opposed and laws of euthanasia, that it can be acknowledged the extent to which Australian society is influenced by religion. Where religious diversity in Australian society is prevalent, progression towards a more civilized and coherent nation can be
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