Level of trust after Christchurch mosque massacre


A survey of 1000 New Zealanders was carried out to find what impact, if any, the terror attack in Christchurch had on people’s trust levels.

There is no evidence in the results of local anti-Semitism or Islamophobia in the form of a trust deficit displayed towards Jews or Muslims compared to mainstream Christian denominations.

But there is some evidence of moderate disproportional social prejudice towards non-mainstream Evangelical Christians, with nearly four in ten of the population distrusting them.

The conclusion does not demonstrate that hate towards minority religious groups does not exist in New Zealand.

Media reporting both before and after the Christchurch shootings clearly indicates that it does.

The Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria Business School conducted the survey.

Colmar Brunton collected data for the survey from 1000 people aged 18 and over and interviewed them online.

The survey was designed to provide a representative picture of the New Zealand population aged 18 and over.

Quotas were applied at the sampling and selection stage for this online survey.

Results were also weighted to be representative of New Zealand by age, gender, ethnicity and region.

They emphasised “living in New Zealand” as the survey was not interested in identifying New Zealanders’ trust in, for example, worldwide Catholicism or Islam.

While the survey is by no means a classical random survey, those who conducted it believe that the results provide a good picture of the relative trust of the population.

Participants were asked to rate their level of trust in 8 different “religious groups”.

One of the groups was “atheistic/agnostic.”

A “mean trust score” was obtained from this data.

The variance between the highest score of 3.2 (Buddhists) and the lowest score of 2.7 (Evangelicals) was 0.5.

In terms of the mean trust score, that difference is of a size that statisticians describe as medium.

The remaining scores ranged from 3.1. for Jews, Hindus, Atheists/Agnostics and 3.0 for Protestants, Muslims and Catholics.

This range does not create a statistically distinguishable difference between them.

Headlines such as “Buddhism most trusted religion in New Zealand”, while attracting attention, are rather hard to give any meaningful explanation to.


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News category: New Zealand.

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