Affirming Religious Diversity No Denial of Christian Roots, NZ Catholic, Anglican Bishops Say

May 31, 2007

Source: Catholic Online

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Catholic Online) – Support for a national statement on religious diversity that affirms that there is no state religion in New Zealand does not deny the Christian roots of the country, said nation’s Catholic and Anglican bishops.

In a May 28 joint statement issued just before the Asia-Pacific Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation, the bishops of the two Christian churches applauded the National Statement on Religious Diversity for Aotearoa New Zealand as “both forward thinking and mindful of past foundations,” while acknowledging that some have criticized the assertion that country has no state religion.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark presented the statement at Waitangi in Northland, New Zealand, at the international dialogue between faith communities from 15 countries May 29-31.

The gathering was the third in an international series of meetings between faith communities from 15 countries. It follows similar meetings held since 2004 in Indonesia and the Philippines and aims to promote peace, regional security and religious tolerance and understanding, particularly between Muslim and Western countries.