With a national anthem entitled "God defend New Zealand", you can imagine, at first glance, that the religion you encounter during your travels in New Zealand is practised with great fervour.
If, during your travels in New Zealand, you wish to learn the national anthem, you will need to remember the words to "God defend New Zealand". With such a title, it seems evident that religion plays a very important role in the daily lives of the inhabitants. With the arrival of Europeans, Christianity took a great hold of this archipelago.
Today, according to official statistics and recent censuses, it is estimated that nearly 55% of the population is Christian. Though Protestants are the most represented with around 39% of inhabitants. Catholics make up just under 13% of the population. The remaining 3% is divided between Maori Christians, Anglicans, Adventists, Baptists, Evangelists, Mormons, Methodists, Pentecostalists and Presbyterians.
Religious fervour in New Zealand is more apparent in rural areas than in the large towns. Besides the major religious calendar events, the churches are also full for weekly Sunday Mass.
Apart from Christians making up 55%, it is estimated that nearly 35% of the population claims to be Atheist. At this stage, 90% of New Zealand's population has been accounted for.
The remaining 10% is divided between various religions such as Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. Each of these religious groups only represent a percentage between 1-2%. Even though this gives them a nominal representation, it still allows them to exist in New Zealand. Consequently, during your stay, you will see churches, temples, mosques and even synagogues due to the presence of a Jewish population. Even though certain communities are poorly represented, diversity is respected.