Essay: New Zealand atheists will lose the War on Christmas in the 21st century

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Filipinos at an annual Christmas parade in Hamilton, New Zealand. Irreligion in the Philippines is particularly rare among Filipinos.[1]

In 2018, New Zealand has about 50,000 immigrants from the Philippines. (Filipino New Zealanders are known as kiwipinos).[2] In 2017, in terms of country of origin, Filipinos were the 5th greatest source of immigrants to New Zealand.[3]

Religious New Zealanders appear to be winning the War on Christmas! Onward Christian soldiers marching in the Hamilton, New Zealand Christmas parade!

For additional details, see: 21st century New Zealand: Irreligion, religion and religious immigrants and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization
In 2008, the International Social Survey Programme was conducted in New Zealand by Massey University.[4] The results of this survey indicated that 72% of the population believed in the existence of God or a higher power, 15% are agnostic, and 13% are atheist (the survey had a 3% margin of error).[5] See: Irreligion in New Zealand

War on Christmas update from Hamilton, New Zealand: Perpetual victory with no end in sight

See also: War on Christmas

The Hamilton Christmas website victoriously declares perpetual victory:

The Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust was established in January 2004 to ensure that the annual Christmas Parade in Hamilton remained a permanent feature of the Christmas calendar. In July 2011 the Trust was also gifted the Christmas tree that stands throughout December each year in Garden Place, Hamilton. A lighting ceremony and carols concert is held on the night that the lights are switched on for the first time."[6]

A permanent feature of the Christmas calendar. Permanent! That sounds like an awful long time, doesn't it, Mr. Militant Atheist? Perpetual Christian victory with no end in sight! That sounds rather heavenly doesn't it, Mr. Militant Atheist?

Desecularization in the 21st century

See also: Desecularization and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020.[7] See: Global atheism statistics

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.[8] [9]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[10]

See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism

Don't miss out when it comes to this graphic with a caption

Concerning 21st century desecularization, Professor Eric Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[11]

Mr. Militant Atheist, according to Google maps, it is merely 4,155 kilometers from Australia to New Zealand.[12] Put that in your New Zealand, militant atheism pipe and smoke it!

For more information, please see: Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

A postsecular New Zealand in the 21st century

See also: Desecularization and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization and Postsecularism

Jens Köhrsen), a professor for religion and economics at the Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics (ZRWP)[13], wrote:

[ Jürgen Habermas ] ...argues that a new age, the age of post-secularity, has begun. Previously vastly secularized societies, like the highly developed countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, would experience a new awareness of religion and attribute a new public role to religion. From now on, religion would constitute a relevant dialogue partner in the public debates of these societies (Habermas, 2008). Moreover, Habermas presents a normative argument about public religion: he recommends that post-secular societies should facilitate religious contributions to the public sphere. Religious reasoning could contribute to public debates about the ethical values of contemporaneous and future societies. Habermas believes that modern societies might find some answers to the moral questions of our time by listening to religion in public debates (Habermas, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008). A similar position to that of Habermas is proposed by Leclerc (2001) and French sociologist Willaime (2004a, 2004b, 2005[1995]: 76-78, 2008). Willaime observes that even the highly secularized public and political sphere of France is exhibiting a new, more open attitude towards religion. The hypersecularity of France would stimulate a restructuration process of religion. According to Willaime, religion can form an important resource for public debates and be engaged in the identity construction process of individuals and collectives.[14]

In April 2010, Eric Kaufmann declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[15] Kaufmann also declared that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence".[16]

Growth of evangelical Christianity in New Zealand

In countries that are irreligious than most countries, it is common for evangelical Christianity to be experiencing growth and sometimes rapid/explosive growth (see: Growth of evangelical Christianity in irreligious regions).

According to Stuart M. Lange, author of the book A Rising Tide: Evangelical Christianity in New Zealand 1930–65, evangelical Christianity saw a resurgence in New Zealand in the 1950s/1960s.[17]

According to Christianity Today, evangelical Christianity grew from approximately 13,800 followers in 2006 to 15,400 in 2013."[18]

The Christian organization Operation World indicates there are now 784,015 evangelical Christians in New Zealand (18.2 percent of the population) and that the evangelical population in New Zealand is growing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent.[19]

According to the New Zealand Christian Network:

We are the NZ member of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and are committed to representing evangelical faith positions. But we recognise also that the term ‘evangelical’ has different meanings in different countries and contexts, so we are very careful in its usage. NZ evangelicalism seeks to be faithful to scripture and is broad politically and socially.

We offer an opportunity for a visible expression of unity which connects us beyond ourselves, across ministries, towns, cities, local churches, and denominations.

Reliable figures suggest 14.5-15% of New Zealanders attend church weekly. 18-19% ‘regularly’. Approximately 500,000 of these Christians are evangelical. This represents a significant constituency that NZCN seeks to serve and represent in different ways.[20]

The bowing of New Zealand politicians to religion has already begun

A New Zealand news website publishes revealing article which certainly is an indicator that New Zealand politicians are already starting to bow to religion in the 21st century: Godless NZ? Not entirely - we're actually becoming a more Christian nation.

"Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during centenary celebrations at Rātana Church in November. She gifted her Bible to the movement, saying it was a symbol of her promise to lead be a government that was kind and compassionate."

According to Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (an online encyclopedia run by the New Zealand government): "New Zealand has never had an official religion, and the church and state have always been separate. However, churches had a strong influence on issues such as alcohol, censorship, gambling and education."[21]

Militant atheists of New Zealand. A warm Christmas greeting from America

"They don't use the term Christmas because it is not politically correct... Well, guess what, we're saying Merry Christmas again." - Donald Trump.[22]

Merry Christmas from Donald Trump: We're saying Merry Christmas again - video

See also


  1. Irreligion in the Philippines, July 2018, "Irreligion in the Philippines is particularly rare among Filipinos...".
  2. Converge for the Annual Philippine Festival
  3. International travel and migration: December 2017. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved on 2018.
  4. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  5. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  6. Hamilton Christmas website
  7. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  8. London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
  9. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  10. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  11. Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
  12. Distance from Australia to New Zealand - Google maps
  13. Prof. Dr. Jens Köhrsen, University website faculty page
  14. How religious is the public sphere? – A critical stance on the debate about public religion and post-secularity, Draft Version, Jens Koehrsen (Köhrsen). Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Germany. École des hautes études en sciences socials, France. Published in: Acta Sociologica 55 (3), S. 273-288.
  15. Shall the religious inherit the earth? by Eric Kaufmann
  16. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  17. A Rising Tide: Evangelical Christianity in New Zealand 1930–65 by Stuart M. Lange
  18. Evangelical Christianity and New Zealand
  19. Operation World - New Zealand
  20. New Zealand Christian Network - About page
  21. Story: Atheism and secularism, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
  22. We're Saying Merry Christmas Again!' Trump Praises 'Judeo-Christian Values' To Conservatives | TIME