The Religious Contribution Of Dutch Migrants To Multicultural Australia

Gary D Bouma


The religious consequences of Dutch migration to Australia have been noticeable and enriching. Dutch migrants introduced a new religious group to Australia - The Reformed Churches in Australia (Deenick, 1991), strengthened a number of Catholic parishes and Presbyterian congregations, and swelled the ranks of those claiming to have 'no religion' (Victorian Office of Ethnic Affairs, 1991:15, 20, 27). The settlement of Dutch migrants has involved the introduction of Dutch religious orientations and expectations some fitting easily into the Australian relaxed attitude toward religion while others did not. Dutch migrants have also brought orientations to the ways religious groups are supposed to relate to each other that contribute to issues of religious diversity facing Australian society. This paper will describe some features of the religious institution of Holland as a backdrop to understanding some of the contributions made by Dutch migrants to Australia.

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