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Effort to eliminate religious education misdirected

Media Release
23 July 2014
NZCN Press: Effort to eliminate religious education misdirected

New Zealand Christian Network spokesman Glyn Carpenter says efforts by Secular Education Network to close down Bible in Schools are misdirected.

"These people want to stop children being educated about the stories of Jesus and his messages of love (love your neighbour, even love your enemies), and hope. I'm sure many people would say we need more of this kind of message, not less".

"It's no secret" said Carpenter "that Jesus and his messages have for 2,000 years been known as "Good News". They are messages our society desperately needs as we grapple with violence, child abuse, alcohol and drugs, and many other problems.

"It is really sad they are pressing this in the year we are commemorating 200 years of Christianity in New Zealand and the significant positive influence it has had and continues to have in our society".

Professor of history at Massey university Peter Lineham says on the DVD Te Rongopai which was produced to mark the bicentenary that the Good News of Jesus brought about a positive social transformation in Maori society as they took it through the country. Any fair-minded person will observe that this Good News and the people inspired by it continue to have a significant and positive impact in New Zealand today.

Any parent who does not want their child to be exposed to these messages has the freedom to opt out. Nobody is forced to attend the classes which take place when schools are legally closed. If any bad practices are taking place such as bribing children with lollies, these should be dealt with. But there's no need to throw out the baby with the bath water.

If the positive messages of Bible in Schools and other religious education programs are stopped, New Zealand will be the poorer for it.


New Zealand Christian Network is a broad-spectrum network of churches and Christian leaders, with a Board of Reference that includes leaders from all the main denominations. It seeks to present a biblically orthodox position on issues, reflecting the views of the majority of Christians in New Zealand.

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