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The most & least trusted religions in New Zealand after the Christchurch attack

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IN A survey of 1000 New Zealanders, taken a month after the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019, we asked respondents how much they trusted people from different religious groups living in New Zealand.

We posed the question with reference to Catholics, Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists or agnostics, and Jews. We emphasised “living in New Zealand” as we were not interested in identifying New Zealanders’ trust in, for example, worldwide Catholicism or Islam.

We are not aware of any previous consideration of trust in different religious groups within New Zealand.

SEE ALSO: The Christchurch Call: More is required to counter violent extremism online

Buddhists most trusted, Evangelicals least

We used a five-point scale for responses – complete trust, lots of trust, some trust, little trust and no trust at all. We converted ordinal data (e.g. first, second, etc) into cardinal data (one, two, etc) by assuming equal intervals between categories to give a mean trust score.

We found that the most trusted religious group in New Zealand is a small non-Christian group: Buddhists. In the most recent 2013 Census 58,000 Buddhists are recorded, out of about 3.9 million people who replied to the religious question. More people feel positively about Buddhists than not – 35 percent of New Zealanders have complete or lots of trust in Buddhists, while 15 percent have little or no trust.

The least trusted religious group in New Zealand is a minority Christian group: Evangelicals (15,000 people in the 2013 Census). Fewer people trust Evangelicals than do not – 21 percent have complete or lots of trust, while 38 percent have little or no trust.

In terms of the mean........

© Asian Correspondent