Mercatornet is fast becoming one of my go-to website for Catholic views and news. It’s a great little resource and loads of fantastic thought pieces that make you think. Check it out if you’ve got time.
They’ve picked up the story run by TVNZ and a couple of other media outlets on the rise of Christian faith among young Kiwis.
The whole article is well worth a read but a few excerpts:
The Press reported recently that perhaps God is not so dead in New Zealand after all. Victoria University’s religious studies professor Paul Morris considers there to be evidence of a growing religious revival among young people in the country. This comes after a United States study listed New Zealand as one of the nine countries in the world where religion will all but die last year.
It is true that latest New Zealand census figures (2006) show that the number of people ticking the “no religion” box is increasing: 1.3 million people, or 34.7 per cent, had no religious affiliation in 2006, up from 1 million, or 29.6 per cent, in 2001.
However, there are apparently growing numbers of young people who are very committed to their faith, despite smaller numbers than in the past. Dr Morris of Victoria University comments after his recent study of students at his university that:
“There is a sizeable number of students who are not religious and a significant minority who are more religious. Those two things are happening simultaneously.”
This makes sense in a generally freer New Zealand society than a few decades ago – why go to Church if you don’t really want to be there? Parents today on the whole are much less likely to force you to. There is also much less social stigma around not going to Church – in fact in New Zealand you are more likely to face stigma if you do go.
St. Paternus, pray for us