Freedom of Religion
and Belief Research Report Released
The report released by Race Discrimination Commissioner,
Graeme Innes 23 March is the culmination of an extensive nationwide consultation
The research took place throughout Australia over a 12
month period. It involved over 210 senior religious representatives, in 23 group
consultations and 30 interviews, as well as the receipt of almost 2000
submissions from a vast cross-section of individuals and organisations from the
Areas canvassed included: the relationship between the
church and the state, and the operation of discrimination laws.
The intention behind the research had been to listen to
the voices of the community, and report on the issues that were raised, and the
final report stands as an extremely comprehensive account of this.
"One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this
research, is that there is a need to develop appropriate responses to the unique
and varied Australian religious contexts and settings, including ancient
Indigenous traditions, Christian heritages, and minority faith
communities," said Commissioner Innes.
"Additionally, when we are considering issues of
discrimination and equality, as we do at the Commission, the research shows that
there is a pressing need for education about religions, if we are to reduce
ignorance and fear, while promoting intergroup respect."
Commissioner Innes said the report would prove a
valuable tool in the development of policies and programs in the area of
religion and belief, as we continue to address the changing and evolving needs
of our multicultural population in Australia.
The report is available at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/frb/report/index.html