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The Secular Trend in New Zealand
The basic meaning of the word ‘secular’ is ‘belonging to the world’, i.e. the natural world as distinct from any supernatural world that might be envisaged by an adherent of a particular religious belief.
A secular state is one that adopts the principle of complete separation of church and state and in which there is individual freedom of religious or non-religious belief. In fact, the secular state is neutral as regards the belief of its citizens and must refrain from favouring any particular religious group.
The purpose of this study is to trace the origins of this trend towards the secularity of the state in Britain and its gradual development in New Zealand, in spite of occasional reversals.