From Pastor Jacqui Caetano (19Feb2023)
Epsom Baptist Church is a rapidly growing church. You may sense something different
as an English congregation. We have declined in numbers in the English service to
worrying numbers, but as a church we are growing by at least a family each week.
Remember the little ceremony we had in June last year. The mandarin service planted
a feijoa tree and the English congregation planted a mandarin tree as a pledge to unity
and oneness. Why then is Christianity declining in New Zealand?
Numbers of people affiliated with Christianity has been declining since the 1990s, and
those stating that they have no religious affiliation has increased. With increased
immigration to New Zealand, especially from Asia, the number of people affiliating with
non-Christian religions has largely increased. This has slightly skewed the statistics.
However, this does not detract from the fact that fewer and fewer New Zealanders
A Faith and Belief in New Zealand commission was conducted in 2018 . The report was commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation, an Auckland-based Christian organisation. The report says New Zealand's "youth as a nation and resulting lack of religious tradition" could be one reason for the rise of secularism. "Perhaps the increasing busyness of modern-day life or the emphasis on individualism and selfcreated identity have also had an impact." Autonomy has eroded trust of others and social institutions such as media, government, church and even family. New Zealanders are a very welcoming nation, friendly and a courteous nation. Naturally rejection lies deep within an individualistic society , plagued by loneliness. Evangelism as we know it has thus taken a dive. There is a way forward.