In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attack, we come to find out that New Zealand has removed references to Jesus from the parliamentary prayer, sparking outrage among the country’s Christian population.
Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, made the decision to drop references to Jesus in order to make the prayer “more inclusive” for all parliamentarians.
The Guardian reported: A reference to “almighty god” remains, but it is not a specific reference to a Christian god. The protesters want Jesus’s name reinstated, and held signs reading “Dishonourable Judas Mallard”. Around 1,000 people protested on the steps of parliament house in Wellington, arguing that New Zealand was a Christian nation and Mallard had no authority to axe Jesus’s name. “He needs a good kick in his pants, and he needs to actually be removed because this is a Christian nation”, protester Rieki Teutscher told Radio NZ. “We don’t share his atheism.” Another protester, Carmel Morgan, said Mallard should have consulted with New Zealanders or announced a referendum before changing the prayer.
“This is a land of democracy, this is a land of freedom, you know, we want to be a first world country… he took that choice away from us.”Carmel Morgan
Politicians such as Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters have said it would have been judicious for the speaker to have consulted more widely before actioning the changes.