Christianity has been an important part of Aotearoa New Zealand since the beginning of organised migration. Rev Samuel Marsden preached the first sermon on Christmas Day 1814 - at the invitation of local Maori – and helped establish the first European settlement in the Bay of Islands.
Churches have been integral to the development of our Kiwi way of life for more than 200 years. Today, almost 50% of the New Zealand population claims allegiance to the Christian faith.
Recent Church-attending statistics [from Professor Joe Bulbulia, Victoria University] show that 10.1% of the New Zealand population are in church weekly and 18.5% of the New Zealand population are in church monthly. Some parts of New Zealand are even stronger in church attendance
So that’s nearly one million people in New Zealand who have active involvement in churches. I say let their voices be heard!
At General Election time, don’t be bashful about being a Christian. Be proud of our rich Christian heritage in Aotearoa; our influence within Maoridom, and in Pacific and Asian populations, and the massive amount of youth, children, education and social service work done by the churches in the name of Jesus Christ today.