When Sydney-born Christine Osborne sailed overseas in 1963, the “White Australia” policy under Sir Robert Menzies remained in place.
Australia needed migrant labour, but those who made the long voyage were European – Christian, largely Catholic and Greek Orthodox.
From a base in London, Christine worked as a freelance photojournalist documenting developing world countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Ethiopia.
Her first book, The Gulf States and Oman, examining the development and social change in Arab oil states, was published in 1977.
Besides documenting lifestyles in eastern nations, she habitually photographed people practicing their chosen faith, their places of worship, sacred foods, customs, religious festivals and places of pilgrimage.
In response to requests from religious publishers in Europe and America, in 1992 she launched the World Religions Photo Library whose collection covers 30 Muslim majority countries visited by Christine as well as contributions on other faiths from invited photographers.
Returning home in 2013, she found Australia had morphed into one of the most diverse multi-cultural societies in the world counting dozens of different nationalities following historic beliefs and traditional customs.
And from being largely indifferent to religion in the fifties and sixties, she found many Australians of Anglo-British descent were often hostile to believers. An attitude rooted in ignorance and intolerance of the unfamiliar.
Settling in the Blue Mountains of NSW, she decided to publish a book of religious images aimed at filling the gap in local knowledge of the mainstream faiths practiced Down Under.
Among Believers: A Pictorial Journey containing 360 colour images on Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism carries the meaningful dedication: TO ALL WHO SUFFER PERSECUTION ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
The print copy and PDF are available from www.blurb.com/bookstore/religiousbooks and from www.amongbelievers.com
A selection of images from the book appear below.
c. Images copyright: World Religions Photo Library.