Religion – The Centre for Independent Studies


In this related area of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program we investigates the implications of a liberal understanding of freedom for religion in civil society. We also seek to analyse the extent and nature of religion as a form of social capital in the public sphere.

Anti-Semitism and religious hatred in Australia have been recent topics of research, along with broader questions as to the meaning and value of religion in Australia.


Australians’ Attitudes to Social Media: Connection or Curse?
Monica Wilkie
29 March 2021 | PP37

Social media appears in the news cycle, almost daily, and the majority of the coverage is negative. Politicians from all sides, and bureaucratic agencies have been warning about the apparent danger social media pose to journalism, democracy, business, and civil society. But Australians are far…

Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic…

Rights, Morals, Dignity: Why defending religious freedom matters
Peter Kurti
10 April 2020 | OP173

Calls for protections of rights are often made without much reflection on what it is, exactly, that needs protecting. In this Occasional Paper, Peter Kurti argues that behind any claim about rights lies a moral claim, and that this claim is essentially about human dignity.…

Respect and division: How Australians view religion
Monica Wilkie, Robert Forsyth
02 December 2019 | PP27

Religious tolerance is vital for a well-functioning secular democracy. The ability to tolerate even undesirable ideas ensures harmony. In order to determine the attitudes of Australians towards religion, the Centre for Independent Studies commissioned YouGov Galaxy to poll more than 1000 Australians, with the data…

Media & Commentary

Legal Protections for Religion Are Protections for Us All
Peter Kurti
01 October 2021 | The Epoch Times

Unless we are vigilant, Australians will soon find that any public declaration or practice of an explicitly religious viewpoint—particularly a Christian one—whether in relation to gender, sexuality, euthanasia, or even…

Why Religious Freedom Laws Are Needed in Australia Now More Than Ever
Peter Kurti
01 July 2021 | The Epoch Times

Cowed by public health reprimands and driven back into lockdown for fear of contagion, many Australians these days appear content to sacrifice liberty for the sake of safety. But the…

Court short
Peter Kurti
28 January 2021 | Spectator

Reserved for ‘eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia’, no more than 35 people in any given year can be nominated for the country’s top…

Victoria's anti-belief law will face many obstacles
Peter Kurti
17 January 2021 | CANBERRA TIMES

In an extraordinary act of authoritarian over-reach, the Victorian Government is intent upon regulating private prayer by monitoring who prays for whom, with whom, and to whom, about issues concerning…

What a weary world needs is to rejoice in the four Christmases
Robert Forsyth

Oddly enough, it was a Bunnings television advertisement that said it best: “Everyone is looking forward to Christmas more this year than any other year.” Indeed, after the 2020 we…