AKCA Public Statement, "We support Bible Classes in NZ Schools!"
“We support the continuation of Christian Religious Programs in NZ state schools!”
The ongoing issue concerning the provision of Christian religious education in New Zealand public schools has drawn attention yet again. With reference to the issue, the Auckland Korean Churches Association (AKCA), along with other Korean Christian churches and denominations in New Zealand, issues a public statement on behalf of the 10,000 Korean Christians residing in New Zealand.
We, the AKCA, raise concern in regards to the legal dispute that the Secular Education Network has made against Christian religious education in public schools and also towards the negative views from some schools, mass media and the general public. We support the continued provision of Christian religious education in public schools in New Zealand.
New Zealand, a country with a Christian social structure, ideology and culture
New Zealand was no doubt established with Christian biblical values. Previously deemed as a Christian nation, it has established all legal and societal structures based on biblical instruction and the fear of God. This fact formed New Zealand as an idealistic country that differentiates it from other countries in the world.
This can be found by looking into the social structures and welfare system of New Zealand. One of the factors that impresses many Korean immigrants is the distinctive social structure of New Zealand. The country has deep consideration for the vulnerable groups of society such as women, children, the sick and the disabled. In practice, such consideration extends to being a part of the cultural customs of New Zealanders. This, when compared with countries that have second-class citizenry (people that are systematically discriminated against and have restrictions places on their rights and freedom), sheds a favourable light on New Zealand.
We have no doubt that such social structure, ideology and culture were formed with the influence of Christianity and Biblical inspiration. The Bible, from the beginning to the end, consistently urges Christians to take care of the vulnerable, widows and children. Jesus held a special place in his heart for the weak and the under-privileged and said whatever we did for one of the least is what we did for Jesus.
Furthermore, New Zealand, when compared to many other countries, also provides equal benefits of education and opportunities for employment to every New Zealander. We strongly believe that the realization of a just society is because it is established on the basis of biblical values.
Valuing people, helping the vulnerable, giving equal opportunities and the advancement of social justice are the core messages of the Bible, and also the values that New Zealand has kept for a long time. It is very apparent that New Zealand’s social structure and culture are largely influenced by Christianity and the Bible from the beginning until now.
New Zealand, a nation with an awe of God
Recently, we were shocked once again after hearing the news about blasphemy laws in New Zealand. It is a controversial issue but we could feel deeply that New Zealand ancestors established New Zealand in awe of God.
What does it mean by having awe for God? These are not just religious words. Having awe for God (or fearing God) is about acknowledging a divine being, fearing evil, loving justice and righteousness, and extending efforts to take care of our neighbours and the vulnerable sectors of society. They are the purpose and the reason for fearing God.
New Zealand public schools have allowed the provision of optional religious education in public schools since 1897. We believe that these teachings have had many positive effects on the ideas and society of many Kiwis, regardless of whether they are Christians or not.Therefore, it would be safe to say that New Zealand was built on many values of the Bible.
The reason why Korean immigrants choose New Zealand
The reason for many Korean Christians choosing New Zealand is because New Zealand was built on Christian values. It is the wish of many Koreans living in New Zealand to live in a society that corresponds to Christian values and to learn from them.
We, Korean Christians, love New Zealand. We love its nature, society and culture. But more than anything else, we love the nation that was built on Christian values. We are thankful and also proud that we live in a country which once sent the largest number of missionaries in ratio to its population, which still has a blasphemy law in its national law (whether it fits in the current era or not), and has religious education in public schools.
We hope that our next generation will continue to learn biblical values and corresponding things here. It is the reason we dreamt of life in New Zealand. Therefore, we the 10,000 Korean Christians firmly reject the claims SEN has made.
The insistence of teaching various religions, not Christian classes.
Some argue that New Zealand, as a multicultural nation, must hold people with various religious backgrounds, and that it is not fair to continue having only Christian religious classes taught in schools. They claim that if religious classes must continue, then many other religions also need to be taught at schools.
However, we believe that these claims will bring more confusion to students. The religious education that is currently provided in schools is actually a time to learn biblical values and morals rather than an indoctrination of the Christian religion. Currently, CEC's educational direction is not forcing religion in accordance with the government's policy. CEC's Christian lessons are mainly teaching children the spirit about honoring their parents, being kind to gentiles, loving their neighbors, and giving priority to the weak.
We emphasize that in accordance with the New Zealand Education Act 1964, the provision of Christian religious education in public schools is voluntary and at the discretion of each school’s Board of Trustees. These religious education classes support the teachings and development of the morality in our students and is not in any way a method of indoctrination. Schools are at the liberty of choosing which religions they offer religious education classes for and therefore, this poses no conflict with respect to New Zealand law.
Purely in terms of practice, it seems impractical to offer classes in numerous religions in the short time frame of a typical school day. The current religious education classes offered in schools emphasis the teaching of universal moral values found in the Bible. This is more in line with the needs of school children rather than the history of the religion. By this reasoning, there is no need for children to be offered a selection of religions as in the current religious education classes they are already being taught good moral values that are shared universally.
The bottom line is that these religious education classes are completely optional and all students and parents have the option of declining this. In this situation, students are provided with other programs or activities at the decision of their school. The accusations of this system encouraging discrimination or even bullying is ludicrous and the nature of such groundless attacks are outside the jurisdiction of religious education providers as they are merely providing a service in line with the freedom of religion, free speech and at free will. The onus is on the parents and schools to manage any fringe issues where students may feel exclusion due to their parents declining their children from participating in religion classes.
We hope that our children will have the opportunity to continue learning the great Biblical values in the New Zealand education system.The Bible contains beautiful and noble values such aslove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.These values will help our children to learn to form the right personality and to create New Zealand with such a beautiful society and culture. We desperately hope that children will not lose these precious opportunities.
An estimated 50 percent of the population in New Zealand still identifies with Christianity. New Zealand should not ignore such a significant figure. Of course we must not ignore other ethnic and religious groups as the Bible instructs us to love our neighbours. However, New Zealand must not eradicate its values and traditions. We must maintain our utmost consideration.
For New Zealand, a country which has long been formed by biblical influences, throwing away Christianity at this point in time under the pretense of respecting other religions, does not mean merely excluding Christian religion, but throwing away the traditions and values of Christianity. The history and foundation of New Zealand is entwined in Christianity. The constant change and evolution of the times is a matter of course, but if shaken down to its core value, New Zealand will become a nation with no national identity. We hope Kiwis do not forget Christianity has been the main influence on the culture and tradition of New Zealand, and also forms its basic values and beliefs system. We desperately wish New Zealand to continue its good traditions and values in order to be able to keep the uniqueness and distinctiveness of New Zealand.
We wish for us, Korean Christians in New Zealand, to carry on living in this beautiful country with biblical values where people have awe for God and love others. It is the reason and purpose of our immigration to New Zealand.
Therefore 10,000 Korean Christians in New Zealand oppose the proposal for the abolition of Christian education or conversion into religious lessons, and we actively support the continuation of Christian religious education in schools.
All the members of Auckland Korean Churches Association
AKCA Member Churches and Organisations
Albany Korean Baptist Church / All Nations Mission Centre / Anointing Presbyterian Church / Aotearoa Joyful Church / Auckland Bethel Community Church / Auckland Eden City Mission Church / Auckland full gospel church / Auckland Korean Corps / Auckland Korean Methodist Church / Auckland Onnuri Vision Church / Auckland So Mang Church / Auckland Vision Baptist Church / Auckland Yang Moo Ree Church / Blessing Church of Auckland / Calvary Korean Church / Child Evangelism Fellowship / Church of the Word / Eden Korean Presbyterian Church / Eternal Vision Church / Eun-Chong Korean Presbyterian Church / Evergreen Baptist Church / Full Gospel Mission Centre / Global Mission Centre / God's Garden Church of Auckland / Grace and Truth Korean Church in Auckland / Han-Ou-Ri Presbyterian Church of Auckland / Immanuel Korean Church in Auckland / International City Church & International Outreach / Joy Korean Presbyterian Church in Auckland / Juhyang Community Church / Jukibbum Baptist Church / Korean Alliance Church of Auckland / Korean Auckland Community Christian Centre / Korean Peace Presbyterian Church of Auckland / Korean Presbyterian Church of Auckland / Kwang Yum Baptist Church / KwangMyung Presbyterian Church / Lifespring Korean Presbyterian church / Lord's Church of Auckland / Morning Grace Korean Church / New Song Presbyterian Church of Auckland / New Zealand Daeheung Baptist Church / Northshore Korean Presbyterian Church / NZ Good Neighbor Church / Okto Presbyterian Church Auckland / Pacific All Nations Church / Pan Pacific Mission Church / Parakai Jesus Love Church / Rodem Evangelical Holiness Church / Sum Kim Ui Church / The Drawing of Heaven Church / The Dream Church / The Evangelical Holiness church of New Zealand / West Auckland Korean Church / Wooridle Church AOG NZ / World Milal in New Zealand / Ye Dong Evangelical Holiness Church of New Zealand
Korean Christian Denominations in New Zealand who support this Statement:
The Korean Methodist Church, Seoul South Annual Conference, South Pacific District / Korea Evangelical Holiness Church, New Zealand District / The Korea Assemblies of God in New Zealand / The New Zealand Synod of Korean Presbyterian Church in Oceania / Oceanian Synod of Korean Presbyterian Church (Soon Jang) / Full Gospel Oceania Mission / The Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad, New Zealand Presbytery / New Zealand Presbytery of The General Assembly of Presbyterian church in Oceania / Korean Churches under Baptist Union of New Zealand
뉴질랜드 기독교 관련 소식들을 전합니다.
교회 뒷문에서 사망한 노숙자 위한 추도예배가 열렸다▲ 노숙자들의 리더같은 존재로 돈과 담요를 아낌없이 나눠줬던 마나히 씨 ©Stuff “방에 있을 때보다 길거리에서 더 큰 자유를 느꼈다” 오클랜드 남부의 교회 뒷문에서 죽은 체로 발견된 노숙인 남성을 추모하는 따뜻한 마음이 이어지고 있다...Date2017.07.26 Category홈리스
뉴질랜드장로교회, WCC의 한반도 평화통일을 위한 기도 동참한다(사진출처: WCC 웹사이트) 뉴질랜드장로교회(Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand)가 오늘 페이스북을 통해 WCC(The World Council of Churches)가 주관하는 한반도 평화통일을 위한 기도에 동참할 것을 밝혔다. 뉴질랜드장로교회는 “8월 13일...Date2017.07.26 Category교계
뉴질랜드 한인 크리스천들, 학교 내 성경수업 계속되길 원한다 (NZ헤럴드 기사)▲ 최영민 씨와 그의 가족은 뉴질랜드의 기독교 가치 때문에 이민을 왔다고 밝혔다 ©NZ Herald 오클랜드한인교회협의회(이하 오한협)가 뉴질랜드 공립학교 내 기독교 교육이 계속되기를 원한다며 성명서를 발표했다. 지난 5월, 세큘러 에듀케이션 네트워크...Date2017.07.25 Category교육
AKCA Public Statement, "We support Bible Classes in NZ Schools!"Public Statement “We support the continuation of Christian Religious Programs in NZ state schools!” Introduction The ongoing issue concerning the provision of Christian religious education in New Zealand public schools has drawn ...Date2017.07.25 Category교육
배타적 형제교회, 9월 총선 국민당의 승리 위해 기도할 것 촉구▲ 배타적형제교회가 빌 잉글리시 총리를 지지할 것을 신도들에게 촉구했다 ©Stuff 빌 잉글리시 총리, 형제교회의 지지 받는다 빌 잉글리시 총리는 다가오는 총선에서 배타적 형제교회(Exclusive Brethren)의 지지를 받게 될 것이다. 배타적 형제교회는 ...Date2017.07.21 Category정치
오클랜드 홈리스 24,000명, 블레넘 인구와 비슷하다▲ 오클랜드 노숙자가 2013년에 비해 3000명이 늘어난 것으로 조사됐다 ©NewsTalkZB 오클랜드 시(市)의 조사에 따르면 현재 23,000명이 넘는 오클랜드 거주자들이 홈리스(homeless)이며, 이는 4년 전보다 3천명 많은 수이다. 홈리스 문제의 심각성 및 해...Date2017.07.21 Category홈리스
대마초 법 완화에 대한 목소리 커지고 있나?전국적으로 ‘보다 자유로운 대마초 법’을 지지하는 사람들이 많은 가운데, 기스본(Gisborne) 주민들 또한 이와 뜻을 같이하고 있는 것으로 보인다. 기스본헤럴드(Gisborne Herald)사가 인터뷰를 위해 접근한 어느 지역사회 지도자도 경제학자이자...Date2017.07.20 Category마약
잉글리시 총리, "대마초 법규 바꾸지 않겠다" (4월 기사)▲ 지난 4월 총리는 AM Show와의 인터뷰에서 대마초 규제를 완화할 생각이 없다고 밝혔다 ©Newshub 캡처 라디오 The AM Show를 청취하는 대다수의 시청자들은 의약용 대마초를 지지하고 있다. 뉴스허브(Newshub)의 인터넷 (비과학적) 설문조사 결과 응답...Date2017.07.20 Category마약
새로운 여론 조사, 뉴질랜드 대마초 비범죄화 찬성 47% 반대 41%로 비슷▲ 대마초 재배 판매 합법화에 대해 키위들의 지지와 반대는 거의 비슷한 것으로 나타났다 ©1News 최신 1News의 콜마 브런턴(Colmar Brunton) 여론조사에 따르면 뉴질랜드인들의 대마초 비범죄화에 대한 의견이 거의 똑같이 나누어진 것으로 보인다. 최근...Date2017.07.18 Category마약
뉴질랜드 청소년들, 어느 때보다 성폭력 영상을 가장 많이 시청하고 있다▲뉴질랜드 청소년들의 성폭력 영상 시청률이 매우 높은 것으로 드러났다 ©ASKMEN.COM 뉴질랜드 청소년들이 이전의 어느 때보다도 성폭력을 더 빈번하게 시청하고 있다. 중요한 사실은 그들이 보는 것에서 성폭력을 학습하고 있다는 점이다. 오늘 발표된 ...Date2017.07.14 Category일반
노숙자, 무료급식소 교회 뒷문에서 잠 자다 사망 ... 온 교회가 울었다▲ 노숙자가 무료급식소를 운영하는 교회 뒷문에서 사망한채 발견됐다 (관련없는 이미지) 오클랜드의 한 노숙자가 한 교회의 뒷문에서 침낭 속에서 사망한 채 발견되었다. 2주 전 남극에서 한파가 몰려온 후 노숙자 사망은 이번이 두 번째 일어난 사건이다. 그...Date2017.07.14 Category홈리스
톰 크루즈가 오클랜드의 사이언톨로지 교회를 방문했다▲ 오클랜드 사이언톨로지 건물을 방문 중인 톰크루즈 ©Newshub 영상 화면캡처 톰 크루즈가 오클랜드의 사이언톨로지 교회를 방문했다. 톰 크루즈는 여섯 번째 미션임파시블 영화를 촬영하기 위해 뉴질랜드를 방문했다가 오클랜드에 있는 사이언톨로지 교...Date2017.07.12 Category이단/종교
빌 잉글리시 총리, 낙태 / 음란물 / 동성결혼에 대해 입을 열다▲ 뉴질랜드 빌 잉글리시 총리 빌 잉글리시(Bill English) 총리가 지난 금요일 열린 패밀리퍼스트(Family First)의 연례행사 "Forum on the Family"에 참석했다. 이번 행사에는 약 300여명의 사람들이 참여했다. 잉글리시 총리는 독실한 천주교 신자로 알려져 ...Date2017.07.12 Category정치
대마초 법 개정에 대한 뉴질랜드 정당들의 입장▲ 뉴질랜드 각 정당의 대마초 법 관련 입장을 정리했다 ©STUFF 정당들이 대마초 법과 관련한 자신들의 입장을 표명하는 것은 간단한 일이 아니다. 의료용 대마초의 규제와 여가 용도로 사용되는 문제는 별도로 고려되는 것이 맞지만, 같은 자리에서 대화...Date2017.07.08 Category마약
세계에서 가장 마약에 찌든 나라는 뉴질랜드... (2015년 기사)세계 마약지도가 나왔다. 전 세계 200여개 국가 가운데 마약류 오남용으로 치료를 받는 국민은 몇 명이고, 주로 어떤 유의 마약이 유통되는지를 소개한 지도다. 마약중독자 수에선 뉴질랜드, 이란, 호주 등 주로 아시아·태평양 국가들이 상위권에 포진...Date2017.07.06 Category마약