FAQ

Am I Religious Or Not?

In Australia religion is considered to be a set of beliefs and practices, involving the acknowledgement of a supernatural being, principle or thing, by which people conduct their lives. If this does not describe you, then it is fair to say you are not religious. In considering your answer to the religion question it is also important to think about how the census information is used. If you are atheist, agnostic or don’t believe in organised religion then in order to make your mind up about how to answer the religion question look through the FAQ’s below.

What If I Identify With A Religion Culturally?

Unless you follow the tenets of a particular religion and actively practice it we would suggest you record ‘no religion’. The religion question does not relate to ethnicity. For example if you consider yourself a secular Jew but do not adhere to the tenets of Judaism or regularly attend services, it is more accurate to mark ‘no religion’ rather than ‘Judaism’.

What If I Was Christened, Baptised Or Attended A Religious School?

The census relates to how you identify yourself now. If you no longer believe in a god or gods or attend religious services regularly then it would be more accurate to mark ‘no religion’ rather than identify yourself as religious.

What If I Identify As Humanist?

Unless you believe in a supernatural being, principle or thing you – are not religious. If you don’t actively practice a religion – you are not religious. Humanists should mark ‘no religion’. Do not mark the humanist box – for reasons only the ABS understand you will be counted as religious.

What If I Am Agnostic?

If you don’t believe in a supernatural being, principle or thing you are not religious. Unless you attend religious services then agnostics should mark ‘no religion’.

Do I have To Answer The Religion Question?

You don’t have to answer the question, if you feel it is the right thing to do. But be aware that the information from the census influences policy making. Better to be counted than not.

What If I mark Jedi Or Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

You will be counted as ‘not defined’ which means that you won’t be recorded as ‘not religious’.

Is My Information Confidential?

All personal information provided remains confidential to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Any information which would enable users of Census data to identify any particular individual or household is not released.

What If I Recorded A Religion In 2006?

You are entitled to change your beliefs or practices. Most non-religious people have been affiliated with a religion at some stage of their lives. The census relates to what religion you observe now. If you are no longer practice a religion, for God’s sake – say so!

I Don’t Identify Myself As Atheist Or Agnostic Because I Believe In A Supreme Being What Should I Tick?

The religion question is not used to gain information about religious practice, however, the box you tick affects government funding to religious organisations as noted above. If you hold a belief in a supreme being but not in organised religion and don’t practice a religion – then ticking ‘no religion’ is an appropriate response for you.

What If I Am A Lapsed Catholic?

If you were brought up Catholic but no longer follow church doctrine or attend mass – then you might like to tick ‘no religion’.

Ticking ‘No Religion’ May Be Appropriate For You Even If You Have A Connection With Religious Group.

You may have contact with a religious group for sociality, ethnic identity or other reasons having nothing to do with religious belief or practice. However, whether you believe in the dogma prescribed by that religion or not people using the census data will probably treat you as a believer if you do not tick ‘no religion’.