(SKY NEWS) — The Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand is the most deadly in the country’s peaceful history, with data showing only around 20 attacks taking place in the country in last 50 years.
New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in the world after Iceland, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2018 produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Austria, Portugal and Denmark make up the rest of the top five most peaceful nations.
At the bottom of the table, Syria remains the least peaceful country – a position it has held for the past five years.
Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are also among the least peaceful nations.
The GPI covers 163 countries and takes account of 23 indicators, such as violent crime, access to weapons and terrorism impact.
Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and South America are the four most peaceful regions in the world, but they fell in the index compared to the previous years, with South America falling the most.
The report from the GPI says this is “owing to falls in the safety and security domain, mainly due to increases in the incarceration rate and impact of terrorism.”
In data recorded by the Global Terrorism Database, since the 1970s, there have been 20 terrorist attacks in New Zealand.
One of the most notable attacks was in 1985 when French foreign Intelligence Services sank a Greenpeace ship whilst it was docked in Auckland, before it was able to leave and protest French nuclear testing.
One person drowned in the attack.
David Lange, the New Zealand prime minister at the time called it “a sordid act of international state-backed terrorism”
One person also died in an attack in 1984 when a suitcase bomb exploded in a union headquarters in Wellington. To this day, the case remains unsolved.