Christianity was introduced with the European colonization of Australia from 1788. Of the Christian denominations, the most predominant was the Roman Catholic Church, found among Irish condemned and Anglicans, among other prisoners. Other groups were also represented, for example, by the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were Methodists.
After colonization, some sailors and Muslim prisoners went to Australia on sentenced ships. Afghans settled in the country in the 1860s, in the 1870s several Malaysians were recruited (most of whom subsequently were repatriated). Despite this, Islam was not a force during this period.
With the exception of a small but significant Lutheran population descended from Germans, Australian society in 1901 was predominantly Anglo-Celtic, with 40% of the population belonging to the Anglican Church, still Church of England, 23% Catholics, 34% Of other Christian bloodlines and 1% professed non-Christian religions. The first census, conducted in 1911, showed that 96% of the population identified themselves as Christians. Today 37.2% of Australians claim to be Protestants, 25.8% of Australians declare themselves Catholic, 2.7% declare themselves to be Orthodox Christians, 0.2% declare themselves to be Eastern Orthodox, 2.1% declare themselves to be Buddhists, 1.7% declare themselves to be Muslims, 0.7% declare themselves to be Hindus And 0.4% claim to be Jews. Among those 18.7% of Australians declare themselves without religion and 0.5% identify with other religions.