There has been quite a bit of discussion in New Zealand about the problems of religious diversity and the need to develop understanding and cooperation. However, this has concentrated on ethnic and religious groups. The third of the population with non-religious beliefs are mostly ignored and this undermines true acceptance of diversity. We need to widen our horizons beyond the “Interfaith” approach if we are to address problems underlying suspicion and conflict between people of different beliefs.
I have contributed an article on this to a special issue of the Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal. This issue deals with Faith and ethnic communities. The article entitled, Atheism and Religious Diversity, argues for an approach to religious diversity which includes non-theist groups and is therefore more consistent with international treaties, and New Zealand legislation, on freedom of religion and belief.
I welcome any feedback, comments or criticism of the arguments presented in this article. (a pdf version is available for download here).
Religious Diversity Statement
Religious diversity includes “non-believers”
Trends in religious belief in New Zealand
Destiny of Christian privilege?
Helen Clark’s diplomacy
Common values, common action?
Special rights for religion?
“Let us pray . . . “
Faith and terrorism
What is religion?