Secular New Zealand and Religious Diverisity: From Cultural Evolution to Societal Affirmation

Pratt, George Douglas (2016). Secular New Zealand and Religious Diverisity: From Cultural Evolution to Societal Affirmation. Social Inclusion, 4(2), pp. 52-64. Cogitatio Press 10.17645/si.v4i2.463

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About a century ago New Zealand was a predominantly white Anglo-Saxon Christian nation, flavoured only by diversities of Christianity. A declining indigenous population (Maori) for the most part had been successfully converted as a result of 19th century missionary endeavour. In 2007, in response to increased presence of diverse religions, a national Statement on Religious Diversity was launched. During the last quarter of the 20th century the rise of immigrant communities, with their various cultures and religions, had contributed significantly to the changing demographic profile of religious affiliation. By early in the 21st century this diversity, together with issues of inter-communal and interreligious relations, all in the context of New Zealand being a secular society, needed to be addressed in some authoritative way. Being a secular country, the government keeps well clear of religion and expects religions to keep well clear of politics. This paper will outline relevant historical and demographic factors that set the scene for the Statement, which represents a key attempt at enhancing social inclusion with respect to contemporary religious diversity. The statement will be outlined and discussed, and other indicators of the way in which religious diversity is being received and attended to will be noted.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Old Catholic Theology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Pratt, George Douglas


200 Religion
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
200 Religion > 240 Christian practice & observance
200 Religion > 280 Christian denominations
200 Religion > 290 Other religions




Cogitatio Press




Mariam Kartashyan

Date Deposited:

13 Apr 2017 15:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:04

Publisher DOI:





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