I've heard If I don't say I'm Christian, it will mean mosques get built in my neighbourhood!?
Did you hear something like the following?
"AUSTRALIA WILL BE HOLDING A CENSUS IN AUGUST
DO NOT LEAVE THE .RELIGION. SECTION BLANK. BE SURE TO AT LEAST TICK CHRISTIAN (OR YOUR UPBRINGING FAITH).
1,000,000 MUSLIMS WILL TICK THEIR BOX.
10,000,000 AUSTRALIANS WILL LEAVE IT BLANK THEN WONDER WHY A MOSQUE IS BUILT IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD!!!
PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS"
This fear campaign using false information is being spread by groups such as One Nation WA as seen on the right of their home page.
The 2006 census indicated that there were only around 340,000 Muslims in the country - about 1.7% of the entire population, and near half of those are children.
10 Million, or basically half of Australians, don't leave the religion question blank.
Writing down Christian won't stop mosques from being built in your neighbourhood, any more than it will suddenly lead to new churches erupting from the ground if you write Christian. It does not matter whether the god someone claims is Allah or Jesus, whether the building on the corner is a mosque or church, or football club. We have secular laws that should represent all Australians regardless of their belief or disbelief as defined by Section 116 of the Constitution*. The government has never built temples, churches, or mosques. We live in a free secular society which tolerates personal faiths. But most importantly, if people are truly terrified of religions taking over the country, they should support any efforts to keep church and state separate.
By marking the census correctly you are better represented in decision making and funding decisions. Hence, the promotion of those without faith to actually mark no religion on the census is a call for us to be properly represented, this does not affect the figures of the religious at ALL. It better represents that at least 1 in 5 Australians are not religious and that figure is growing, has been under represented in past census, and that a secular society better reflects what is fair for all Australians so that we can all live together regardless of faith or lack of it.
* Section 116 says: The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.