Religious freedom is at the heart of Australia’s secular constitution, with more than half the population now saying they consider themselves Christian.
But the numbers have fluctuated in recent years, with a large proportion of Australians (62 per cent) saying they were not religious at all in the past decade, and another 34 per cent saying they weren’t religious at any time in the previous decade.
Some say they don’t feel safe in churches or other religious places because of what they consider to be anti-Christian sentiment, but others say the changes in the constitution have only helped their faith and their communities.
Read moreA recent survey by ABC News found that in the year to September 2018, just over a third of Australian adults said they were Christians.
However, the survey found that one in five Australians were not Christian at all, and a fifth of respondents said they weren�t Christian at any point in their lives.
A study by the Australian Christian Lobby found that religious freedom in Australia has increased over the past 10 years, but the number of Australians who are not religious has increased in recent decades, with nearly one in four Australians not religious in the same timeframe.
The Christian lobby’s latest report shows that religious freedoms in Australia have increased by 5.4 per cent since 2000, and the number who are unaffiliated has increased by a further 1.3 per cent.
In the latest survey, 52 per cent of respondents agreed that people should be allowed to practice their religion as they saw fit.
Only 39 per cent disagreed.
The ACL report found that while many Christians in Australia were not necessarily religious, they felt they should be.
Some respondents, like journalist Sami Abo, said they felt religious freedom had been diluted in the post-1990s, with the ACL saying this was a direct result of the government’s decision to allow the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to broadcast religious content.
“What happened is we were allowed to broadcast a Christian message that was not a message of faith, a message that didn�t even include any religious content whatsoever,” Abo said.
According to the ACL, only 12 per cent agreed with the statement, “It�s time for our government to stop allowing the ABC to broadcast messages of hatred and bigotry towards religion.”
The ACL found that some of the religious freedoms that have been granted since then are now being restricted.
They found that only one in seven (15 per cent), or only one-in-four, of those surveyed said they supported the right to attend religious services at the workplace.
Also, only 19 per cent (14 per cent on average) of those questioned supported the use of prayer in public places.
There are also some concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, especially those who feel threatened by the changes.
Dr Matthew McEwan, a professor of political science at the University of Melbourne, said the changes were problematic for a number of reasons.
He said religious freedoms were not guaranteed, and that the ACL had raised concerns about changes to the constitution and their impact on freedom of speech.
Professor McEgan said the ACL would also have concerns about what impact they could have on religious freedom if the changes are implemented.
What are some other things the ACL has said about the religious freedom changes?
The ACL says the changes have not changed the way that people practice their faith, or the way in which people worship.
However, the ACL says that the government is trying to push through changes to religious freedoms through a range of measures, including through legislation, including the introduction of a Bill to allow religious organisations to be granted special exemptions to certain religious freedoms.
But there are concerns about how these changes will affect people’s freedoms.
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference says the religious community is also concerned about the implications of these changes on their freedom of religion.
Catholic groups in Victoria have also voiced concerns about religious freedom and the government�s plans.