'No religion' overtakes Christianity in latest Census results

The number of New Zealanders without any religion has officially overtaken the number of Christians for the first time.

Newly released statistics from the 2018 Census show the number of Kiwis with 'no religion' has increased 6.67 percent from 1,635,345 (41.92 percent) in 2013 to 2,264,601 (48.59 percent).

In addition to this, there were 7,068 atheists, 6,516 agnostics, and 663 Humanists. This makes 'no religion' the largest belief group in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the number of people identifying with Christianity has dropped from 47.65 percent in the 2013 Census to 37.31 percent in the latest one.

Out of the different Christian churches, Anglicans topped the list at 314,913, while  295,734 people identified as Roman Catholic, 221,199 as Presbyterian and 52,743 as Methodist.

Other religions doing well


The Census figures also show an increasing number of people who follow other religions than Christianity.

The number of Hinduism has increased to 40,908 in 2018, while Sikhs more than double to 40,908.

Satanism had 1149 adherents, more than Scientologists (321) and Druids (189), but below Wiccans (1482) and Jedi (20,409).

 'No religion' overtakes Christianity in latest Census results
Photo credit: File

Is Christianity out of step with New Zealand?


The president of secular advocacy group Humanist New Zealand, Jolene Phipps, says it's time for the Government to end the privileges awarded to religious groups.

"Christianity has a privileged position in public policy today that is out of step with modern New Zealand," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

"From parliamentary prayers, to classrooms 'closing' during the school day so that Christian groups can run religious instruction, the concessions awarded to religious organisations clash with human rights and our concept of a free and fair society.

"Non-religious people need more recognition, support, services, and representation. We want to work together to ensure our voices are heard."


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