Christ has been all-but fully removed from CHRISTmas nationally in New Zealand — including Television, print-media, Council decorations, shopfront windows, Christian lyrics in CHRISTmas carols in public places and shopping malls and many shops, CHRISTmas Cards and CHRISTmas decorations for the home.
Churches in our nation’s cities and towns are now progressively being denied continuing involvement in Community CHRISTmas Carol and other gatherings, while others are not being made to feel welcome in CHRISTmas parades – with some offering no option for Christian involvement.
What about other religions?
Many are unaware that we have this free, multi-cultural environment within which many faiths can be freely expressed, expressly because of our Christian heritage. Christianity affirms the freedom of the will in a way that few do.
It additionally affirms the obligation for love and selfless care for the poor and ‘foreigners’. These beliefs have shaped the very way we think.
Just as a tree needs it roots, values within a society do too if they are to be sustained. These values are not ‘self-evident’ as some suppose. A quick look at history reveals this. They are only self-evident in a ‘Christian’ culture – which is what our nation is.
Our belief and hope:
The removal of these cultural icons is a disrespect to our cultural forefathers, heritage and values. Yet it remains that we are not powerless. We can maintain a basic respectful Christian presence within Christmas – which is the celebration of Christ’s birth, and that is what Hope Project CHRISTmas is about!