Essay: New Zealand atheists will lose the War on Christmas in the 21st century
- 1 War on Christmas update from Hamilton, New Zealand: Perpetual victory with no end in sight
- 2 Desecularization in the 21st century
- 3 A postsecular New Zealand in the 21st century
- 4 The bowing of New Zealand politicians to religion has already begun
- 5 Militant atheists of New Zealand. A warm Christmas greeting from America
- 6 See also
- 7 References
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."||”|
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
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. 
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...
See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism
A postsecular New Zealand in the 21st century
Jens Köhrsen), a professor for religion and economics at the Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics (ZRWP), 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: 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.||”|
In April 2010, Eric Kaufmann declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France." Kaufmann also declared that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence".
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.
According to Christianity Today, evangelical Christianity grew from approximately 13,800 followers in 2006 to 15,400 in 2013."
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.
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.
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."
Militant atheists of New Zealand. A warm Christmas greeting from America
Merry Christmas from Donald Trump: We're saying Merry Christmas again - video
- Irreligion in the Philippines, July 2018, "Irreligion in the Philippines is particularly rare among Filipinos...".
- Converge for the Annual Philippine Festival
- International travel and migration: December 2017. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved on 2018.
- "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
- "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
- Hamilton Christmas website
- Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
- London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
- 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
- Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
- Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
- Distance from Australia to New Zealand - Google maps
- Prof. Dr. Jens Köhrsen, University website faculty page
- 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.
- Shall the religious inherit the earth? by Eric Kaufmann
- 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
- A Rising Tide: Evangelical Christianity in New Zealand 1930–65 by Stuart M. Lange
- Evangelical Christianity and New Zealand
- Operation World - New Zealand
- New Zealand Christian Network - About page
- Story: Atheism and secularism, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
- We're Saying Merry Christmas Again!' Trump Praises 'Judeo-Christian Values' To Conservatives | TIME