Religious fanaticism is rising again, with the number of Australians who say they are religious more than doubled to 2.7 million from 1.3 million in 2014.

The rise in religious fervour comes amid a resurgence of Islamophobia in Australia.

In 2015, a survey by the Pew Research Centre found that 76 per cent of Australians felt that religion was an important part of their daily lives.

Australia is also becoming more multicultural, with Muslims making up just one per cent (0.4 per cent) of the population, but that proportion has risen to nearly one per half (45 per cent).

More Australians are now Muslim, too, with Muslim-Australians now accounting for almost half of the total (46 per cent), up from just 12 per cent in 2014, according to the 2017 Migration Survey.

Religious groups, too , are making more gains.

The Catholic Church, the largest religion in Australia, saw its membership grow by more than 40 per cent from 1 million to 2 million in the last decade.

While the rise in the number and the size of the religious community is a positive sign for the church, the church is not immune to rising religiosity.

More than half of Australians (55 per cent, according the 2017 Census) say they believe religion has become more prominent in their lives, with religious beliefs now constituting about 30 per cent or more of their overall social and economic life.

This is a rise from 30 per% in 2010, the last year the ABS started collecting census data on religion.

Although there are some notable differences in the beliefs of Christians and Muslims, there are similarities in their attitudes to their faith and their behaviour.

Despite these, there is no sign that religious fervours are being fuelled by the threat of terrorism or other religious extremists, says Professor Michael Baker, from the University of New South Wales.

He says Australia’s religious communities have a shared set of values, which are similar to that of Western democracies.

“It’s a sense of belonging and belonging is a shared thing and people tend to want to have a community where people can feel comfortable in their identity, their values, their way of life,” Professor Baker says.

As the religious fervor is building, so are the number who say their religion has changed for the better over time.

The rise in popularity of religious belief is seen by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as a sign of how well-known religions are becoming more mainstream in the country.

Australian census data from the 2017 census found that more than four in 10 Australians are either a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, but only around a third are either Hindu or Jewish.

Professor Baker says this is because the Australian population is ageing and there is a need for people to have some sort of social cohesion.

However, he says that the rise of religious fervouring in Australia is also likely to increase the number, and in turn the religiosity, of the wider community.

With religion growing in popularity, Australia is experiencing a change in the social and cultural fabric of the country, he said.

If we can continue to move away from a time when Australians felt isolated and vulnerable, then we can do something to make the community more comfortable and more open, he added.

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