RELIGIOUS IDENTITY OF AUSTRALIANS 25.3% Catholic 17.1% Anglican 22.3% No religion 2.8% Presbyterian and Reformed 5% Uniting church 27.5% Other religion

In his Easter Sunday sermon a few years ago, The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, highlighted the need for Christianity to reconnect with its original message of life, forgiveness, reconciliation and hope. This retaliation came from a survey revealing 53 per cent of children were unaware of the religious significance of Easter and 30 per cent thought it was to celebrate the birthday of the Easter Bunny. “It is deeply sad that millions of children don’t know the great news of the true meaning of Easter,” he said. So do eggs and chocolate actually have anything to do with religion? The Easter egg has been traced back to the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion. Eggs have since been associated with Easter as a symbol of fertility, rebirth and the Resurrection. This then evolved into painting chicken eggs with vegetable dye and charcoal, then in the 17th and 18th centuries egg-shaped toys were given to children, along with cardboard, plush and satin-covered eggs filled with chocolates. Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century in France and Germany. As for the origin of the Easter Bunny – that still remains a mystery.]]>