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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Dalai Lama has just completed a tour of Australia, boosting what is the country's fastest-growing religion. Australia has more Buddhists per capita than anywhere else in the Western world. From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports on how this religion has moved beyond Asian immigrant communities and into the mainstream.
Tibetan nuns chant traditional prayers - an increasingly common sight in Australia.
There are about 350 thousand Buddhists in the country in this mainly Christian nation, and government census data indicate that number is up almost 80 percent from 1996. The Buddhist population eclipses the size of Australia's Muslim population.
Mark Allon an expert on Buddhism from the University of Sydney says the faith's roots here were established by settlers from Asia.
"We have many immigrants from Buddhist countries. Many Asian immigrants recently and even historically - they brought with them Buddhism," Allon said. "So among those communities you have an interest in Buddhism, a preservation of their religion and culture. Then you also have an interest among the wider Australian community, non-Asian community, resident community, in Buddhism and that has been going on now for almost 100 years."
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