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Australia is getting more diverse each year.
We have over 300 languages being spoken at home, more than 100 religions being practiced and 28% of our population were born overseas.
But diversity doesn’t necessarily mean unity. A recent survey of 6000 Australians showed that many of us are fearful of change and the unfamiliar. In fact, 49% of people surveyed believed people from racial, ethnic, cultural and religious minority groups should behave more like mainstream Australians.
The surprise of events like Brexit and Trump have shown the world that we’re not engaging with people who hold opposing views to our own as much as we’d like to think. Meanwhile social media algorithms show users news sources that are aligned to their existing views, leading to the formation of increasingly polarised communities.
With the face of Australia changing, stopping the echo chambers and giving people a better understanding of different people’s views has never been more important.
Did that get an eyebrow-raise?
Part of the increased diversity in Australia includes a rise in different religions. For example Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism have all increased significantly in the last 10 years.
The truth is, religion is often deeply tied to the culture and ways of thinking in different communities. So how can we interact and understand these new Australians if we don’t first try and understand what they believe and why their religion matters to them?
We believe that stories have the power to break down the walls of segregation, judgement and ignorance in our society.
So without bias, we recount the life experiences of people with uncommon religious views; explaining how these people came to their beliefs, and what a believer’s daily life looks like.
By doing this, we hope to give young Australians a window into the lives of people who live, believe, think and act differently to them.
some of the people you'll meet
A Progressive Jewish Rabbi
Whether straight or gay, whether they feel more comfortable in their gender or would feel more happy being related to in a different way, that is ok, that’s the way God made them
a Bangladeshi Muslim entrepreneur
Coming from Bangladesh... first things people obviously assume is you're poor, you're uneducated and you don't know anything about the world
a Pakistani Muslim refugee
Terrorists are so free and no one is there to stop them, so the only thing you can do is maybe you stay there to die or maybe you move away
an alternative Catholic philanthropist
Praying to God and asking God to solve the injustices isn’t going to create a just society... but having a faith to nurture you while you do your bit is something that a lot of people resonate with
a murderer, turned Christian minister
If I join the army I might be able to kill someone... and get away with it