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Christianity in New Zealand


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The first Christian mission to the Maori was established in 1814 by an Anglican chaplain in New South Wales. Wesleyan Methodists began a mission in 1822, and French RCs in 1838. By the 1840s the majority of the Maori population was attending Christian services. After the British annexation of New Zealand in 1840 there was extensive European colonization, which led to the introduction of a variety of denominations. The Anglican see of New Zealand was set up in 1841, with G. A. Selwyn as its first bishop. In 1928 a Maori was consecrated Bp. of Aotearoa to supervise work among the Maori. Women have been admitted to the Anglican priesthood in New Zealand since 1977; the first woman bishop was consecrated in 1990. In 1992 the Anglican Province of New Zealand became the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The RC Church established two dioceses in 1848 and a Province in 1887; the first Maori RC bishop was consecrated in 1988. In the population as a whole Anglicans are the largest body, followed by the RCs and Presbyterians. Among the Maori the Anglicans and RCs are followed by the Ratana Church, an indigenous body founded by the Maori healer T. W. Ratana (1870–1939).

Subjects: Christianity.


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