NZ Religion Down

Census Numbers Report Number of Religious Population in New Zealand is Decreasing

NZ Religion Down

Results released from the 2013 New Zealand Census indicate the number of New Zealanders who practice religion is dwindling.

Followers of Hinduism, Islam, and Pentecostal increased, but many other religions saw a reduction in numbers, including Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Protestantism. Specifically, Christianity has lost 8 percent of their devotees. The Christian population is now 1.8 million.

The New Zealand Association of Rationalist and Humanists president John Murphy is happy with the results of the census. NZARH is an organization whose goal is to promote a “rational, humane, and secular view of life without reference to supernatural agencies.” Murphy says, “It means that the people who make our laws and so forth now need to take into account the wishes of people who are not religious, because we are becoming a significant part of the population.”

Prior to the census’ distribution, NZARH ran ads urging the nonreligious to state it on the survey.

One of the group’s goals is to reduce the stigma associated with not having a religious affiliation. They see this milestone as a step towards that goal.


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