1266.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2016   
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WHAT HAS CHANGED

SUMMARY OF CHANGES

The 2016 review of the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG) has resulted in changes made at the broad, narrow and religious group levels of the classification.

Changes at broad group level

The purpose of broad group 7 has been expanded and subsequently the broad group name has been changed from 'No Religion' to 'Secular Beliefs and Other Spiritual Beliefs and No Religious Affiliation'.

Changes at narrow group level

The narrow group for Miscellaneous Religions had originally been assigned a three-digit code (699) which enabled a maximum of eight religious groups to be separately identified in this narrow group of the classification. This had reached capacity, but new religions which meet the criteria of this narrow group have been identified. The 2016 review has changed the narrow group coding to two-digits enabling more religious groups to be added to the narrow group.

Narrow groups included in the expanded broad group 7 have been allocated two-digit codes.

Changes at religious group level

There have been a number of changes at the religious group level, including the addition of several new religious groups and other beliefs as a result of the expansion of broad group 7. Several group name changes have been identified and a small number of groups have been deleted from the classification.


RELIGIOUS GROUPS ADDED TO THE CLASSIFICATION

The review added 20 new religious groups to the classification.

One new religious group to narrow group 207 Catholic:

  • Syro Malabar Catholic (code 2076)

Seven new religious groups to narrow group 24 Pentecostal:
  • Acts 2 Alliance (code 2416)
  • Christian Church in Australia (code 2417)
  • Pentecostal City Life Church (code 2418)
  • Revival Fellowship (code 2421)
  • Victory Life Centre (code 2422)
  • Victory Worship Centre (code 2423)
  • Worship Centre Network (code 2424)

Three new religious groups to narrow group 28 Other Protestant:
  • Christian Community Churches of Australia (code 2811)
  • Methodist, so described (code 2812)
  • United Methodist Church (code 2813)

Two new religious groups to narrow group 69 Miscellaneous Religions:
  • Mandaean (code 6901)
  • Yezidi (code 6902)

The expansion of broad group 7 has enabled the inclusion of the following groups previously coded to supplementary codes:
  • Multi Faith (code 7301)
  • New Age (code 7302)
  • Own Spiritual Beliefs (code 7303)
  • Theism (code 7304)

Three 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) codes have been added to the classification:
  • Anglican, nec (code 2019)
  • Secular Beliefs, nec (code 7299)
  • Other Spiritual Beliefs, nec (code 7399)


RELIGIOUS GROUPS WHICH HAVE BEEN RENAMED OR RE-DESCRIBED

Several religious group names have been changed to align with updated group names identified through research. The majority of name changes have been for Pentecostal groups in narrow group 24. In most cases, to enable easier identification of these groups, the former names have been included in brackets:
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (code 2151)
  • Australian Christian Churches (Assemblies of God) (code 2402)
  • Bethesda Ministries International (Bethesda Churches) (code 2403)
  • C3 Church Global (Christian City Church) (code 2404)
  • International Network of Churches (Christian Outreach Centre) (code 2406)
  • CRC International (Christian Revival Crusade) (code 2407)
  • Full Gospel Church of Australia (Full Gospel Church) (code 2412)
  • Grace Communion International (Worldwide Church of God) (code 2915)
  • Rastafari (code 6994)


CHANGES TO THE CODE ASSIGNMENT

The following changes to code assignments have been made:
  • No religion, so described, 7101 (previously No Religion, 7010)
  • Agnosticism, 7201 (previously 7011)
  • Atheism, 7202 (previously 7012)
  • Humanism, 7203 (previously 7013)
  • Rationalism, 7204 (previously 7014)
  • Unitarian Universalism, 7305 (previously Unitarian, 2914)


RELIGIOUS GROUPS WHICH HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION

The following religious groups have been removed from the classification:
  • Christian Life Churches International (formerly coded to 2405)
  • Faith Churches (formerly coded to 2408)
  • Pantheism (formerly coded to 6134)


CHANGES TO THE CODING INDEX

Changes to the coding index will reflect changes across the classification including appropriate entries for responses previously coded to supplementary codes.

Those groups which have been removed from the classification have been assigned the following codes:
  • Christian Life Churches International is coded to Acts 2 Alliance (code 2416; formerly coded to 2405)
  • Faith Churches is coded to Christianity, nfd (code 2000; formerly coded to 2408)
  • Pantheism is coded to Theism (Code 7304; formerly coded to 6134)


COMPARING CURRENT AND PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE ASCRG

Correspondence tables are available in the ASCRG data cube if users need to convert data from the third edition to second edition Revision 1 of ASCRG.

Generally, the religious groups (base-level units) of both editions of the classification retain a one-to-one relationship. The correspondence table itemises the code linkages between the religions, details the links between the broad groups and the narrow groups, and indicates movements within the structure of particular religious groups. In some instances, there is not a direct relationship between the religions or religion groupings of the structures of the two editions. Partial linkages within the structure are indicated by including the word 'part' after the code of the religion or religious group concerned.