Australian PM says her atheism no threat to church

July 29, 2010 13:22

CANBERRA, Australia — New Prime Minister Julia Gillard assured Australia's Christian majority on Thursday that her atheism would not affect government funding to church-run schools if she is re-elected.

Gillard, who was sworn in last month and promptly called elections, was the first prime minister in the federation's 109-year history to take an affirmation of office instead of swearing on a Bible.

"In terms of the work that the Catholic church does that other churches and religious groups do in our society, I am a big respecter and my history has been to be a big supporter," Gillard told reporters.

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