Jews, More Welcome in Australia Than Other Religions, Study Says

Less than 10 percent of Australians do not welcome Jews as family members or close friends, according to a survey released last week of attitudes towards religious groups.

Fully 59 percent of Australians positively welcome Jews as family members, the study showed.

Acceptance of Jews was comparable to that of born-again Christians, and higher than that of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The survey was conducted for the World Council of Religion and Peace as a project for the U.N. International Year of Tolerance.

The new survey’s results differ from a 1988 survey by the federal government’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, which found that Jews were welcome as family members by only 15 percent of Australians.

With Muslims, acceptance has risen from 9 percent in the 1988 survey to 48 percent in the current survey, conducted by Gary Bouma of Monash University.

According to Bouma, the results indicated “changes in the basic ethos of Australia.”

The researchers questioned residents of Melbourne.

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