Global Christianity Catholic beginnings in Australia
Global Christianity

Catholics plant churches in an officially Anglican colony.

Irish Roman Catholics were among the first settlers to arrive in Australia in 1788. At that time Catholicism was illegal in Britain; in Australia Catholics were forced to attend Protestant services. In 1817 an Irish priest was deported from Australia for conducting mass. English Catholics were granted toleration in 1829; this soon led to freedom of worship for Catholics in Australia. The first Catholic church opened in 1830, an important step toward religious pluralism. By the year 2000, Catholics outnumbered Anglicans in Australia.

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Photo courtesy of Nancy Koester.