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Document Details :
Title: New Zealand
Subtitle: Religion as Culture in a Secular State and a Pluralist Society
Author(s): VAN DER KROGT, Christopher
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 25 Issue: 1 Date: 2015-06-30
Immigration is making religion in New Zealand increasingly diverse even as more and more people are rejecting religious labels. Conservative Christian morality is losing its influence over laws and institutions in favour of liberal Christian views and those of the religiously unaffiliated. Meanwhile, a new consciousness of individual rights and respect for cultural diversity is evident in legislation and in the creation of government agencies to promote it. In addition to accommodating the cultures of recent immigrants, government and society are increasingly responsive to the cultural concerns of the indigenous Maori population, an agenda that may be seen as compromising the even-handed secularity of the state. The government and its agencies largely treat religions sensitively as cultural phenomena, thereby curbing their political significance—particularly in the case of Islam—yet this pluralistic strategy has yet to be applied adequately in the country’s schools.