Gloriavale Christian Community

An isolated Christian commune facing an increasing number of abuse allegations

1969 - present

Gloriavale members

Members of Gloriavale

Gloriavale is a Christian commune founded in New Zealand in 1969. It is known for its strict adherence to fundamentalist Christian beliefs and its self-sufficient lifestyle, in which members share all property and earn a living through farm work, gardening, and offering scenic flights.

For many years, the commune remained relatively unknown and unobserved by the public, but it gained attention in the mid-1990s when the founder was convicted of sexual abuse. This was followed by a series of allegations of abuse by former members, which led to investigations and significant media coverage in the late 2010s and beyond. As a result of these allegations, at least four members have been charged with abuse, with one conviction.

The death of the leader in 2018 and the subsequent investigations and negative press coverage have cast a shadow over the commune's future as the community continues to grapple with the aftermath of these events.

Religion: Christianity 

Denomination: Fundamentalism 

Founder: Neville Cooper (AKA "Hopeful Christian)

Founded: 1969

Size: 609

Location: Haupiri, New Zealand 

Also called: Cooperites

Hopeful Christian (founder) with community members
Hopeful Christian (founder) with community members
Gloriavale members praying before a meal

Gloriavale members praying before a meal

Other info:

Other tags:

Ted Talk from a former member alleging abuse

Exposé on the community Part 1

Exposé on the community Part 2