A Battle of Religions Down Under
PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 May 2007
A Battle of Religions
(Sent to International Media)
Prominent New Zealand church leader Bishop Brian Tamaki is calling on Christian-based countries to unashamedly declare their religious identity or risk losing it forever.
His statement comes in response to a political endeavour by New Zealand’s left wing Labour-led Government to declare New Zealand to be religiously neutral. Bishop Tamaki points to the social upheaval being experienced globally, and in particular in countries such the UK and France, where the proliferation of Islam has significantly weakened their sense of national safety and security.
“I believe we are at a point where Christian-based nations must not be afraid to declare their religious allegiance, not to the exclusion of other religions, but to ensure that future generations can enjoy the moral traditions, values, safety and freedoms that Christianity affords. This would mean that alternative or foreign religions would not be afforded equal status to the established national religion, therefore certain restrictions on those religions would need to apply, ” says Bishop Tamaki.
As a commonwealth nation, New Zealand has a significant Christian heritage that is interwoven throughout its constitutional, judicial, political and social arrangements.
“Political correctness, fear of terrorism and secularisation has caused many Western Christian countries to be religiously and politically susceptible. But you must understand there is no such thing as a religiously neutral country – as we are experiencing. Even a Government or organisation such as the United Nations that seeks to minimise religion is in fact imposing its own, which is the religion of secular humanism. I affirm the separate functions of church and state and freedom of religious choice. But I don’t see why we should minimise or deny our Christian heritage for fear of causing offence to an individual, group or country of alternative religious persuasions,” Bishop Tamaki says.
To that end, Bishop Tamaki is leading a delegation of church representatives to uphold and promote New Zealand’s Christian heritage. A key part of Bishop Tamaki’s presentation will be seeking to officially recognise New Zealand as a Christian nation.
The event which coincides with the NZ Prime Minister’s Asia Pacific Inter-religious Forum on Tuesday 29th May at Waitangi. Bishop Tamaki will also send an open letter to Foreign Delegates attending the Forum pointing out New Zealand’s Christian heritage.
Event details can be viewed on www.christiannation.org.nz