Religion dying in New Zealand

There has been a sharp rise in the number of New Zealanders with no religious affiliation, new research shows. In a study of 1,000 people by Massey University, 40 percent said they had no religious affiliation compared to 29 percent 17 years ago. Just over a third of New Zealanders described themselves as religious.

Fifty-three percent said they believed in God (although half of those said they had doubts), 20 percent believed in some form of higher power and about a third said they didn’t believe or didn’t know. However, 60 percent said they would prefer children to have religious education in state primary schools, preferably teaching about all faiths.

Professor Philip Gendall, who led the Department of Communication, Journalism and Marketing research team, said the view that New Zealand was a very secular country was supported by the relatively low levels of active involvement in religion. “The survey shows that God is not dead, but religion may be dying,” he said.

See also:
Young Poles abandoning Catholicism

3 April 2009