Australia: More choosing Buddhist path

By Sarah Price, Sydney Morning Herald, May 7, 2006

Sydney, Australia -- BUDDHISM is growing as a religion of choice for Australians seeking an antidote to a greedy, violent and stressed out world.

Dr Cristina Rocha, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Western Sydney Centre for Cultural Research, said increasing numbers of Australians were shying away from their religion of their birth and instead adopting spiritualities of choice.

"Buddhism is happiness, peace, tranquillity, well-being ... in sharp contrast with what is happening in the world," Dr Rocha said.

She said it was the fastest growing religion in Australia between the 1996 and 2001 census, and anecdotal evidence suggested its popularity was still as strong.

The growth was not only due to migration but also to large numbers of Australians becoming Buddhists.