A country of less than five million New Zealand represents no State religion. It is a country where attendance at places of worships is not more than 15 percent. The Muslims make not more than two percent of the country’s population. In such a small country with high degree of religious neutrality, a large-scale terror attack on a minuscule religious minority has shocked the whole world.
As per the latest statistics of 2018, New Zealand’s total population is 4,885,300. The population has registered 1.4% to 2% growth in a little over ten years. Out of 4.8 millions Muslims are only 46,150 which is 1.18 of the total population.
Even as New Zealand doesn’t claim any State religion but Christians still make the majority. As recorded in the 2013 census, about 49 percent of the population identified themselves as Christians, although regular church attendance is estimated at less than 15 percent. Another 41.9 percent indicated that they had no religion (up from 34.7 percent in 2006 and around 6 percent affiliated with other religions.
The indigenous religion of the Māori population was animistic, but with the arrival of missionaries from the early nineteenth century most of the Māori population converted to Christianity. In the 2013 census, 2,595 Māori still identify themselves as adhering to traditional Māori beliefs. The largest Christian denominations are Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Presbyterianism. There are also significant numbers of Christians who identify themselves with Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist and Latter-day Saint churches, and the New Zealand-based Rātana church has adherents among Māori. Immigration and associated demographic change in recent decades has contributed to the growth of minority religions, especially Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
The Muslims make only 1.18 percent of the total population of New Zealand. However, the Muslim population is believed to have registered growth of 28-30% in last one decade.