Christians will gather at Parliament when the House sits for the first time in 2018 to pray for Jesus to remain in the Parliamentary prayer.
On Tuesday 30 January 2018, a lunchtime rally has been organised to urge the Speaker of the House to reinstate the name of Jesus in the opening prayer.
Jesus for New Zealand spokesperson Pastor Ross Smith of Celebration Church Wellington said the gathering is not a protest but a movement to bring as many Christians together to make a stand.
Mentions of Jesus and the Queen have been removed from Parliament's Te Reo karakia, or prayer. Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, instituted a consultation period for the new karakia but had already adopted the removal of ‘Jesus’ last year.
“We feel that the church does not have a voice in this change and we are here to change that,” he says.
“Numbers speak to Parliament and this rally may be the only way to keep Jesus in the prayer, that is why we are calling for all Christians to be a part of this movement.”
A poll on Stuff.co.nz found that 50% of the 10,600 respondents didn’t like the change to the Parliamentary prayer, preferring to keep references to Jesus and the Queen. Only 17% support the change being considered by the Speaker of the House. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98742522/parliament-prayer-changes--no-more-queen-or-jesus
Pastor Rasik Ranchord of Abundant Life Church says: “At the beginning of the new Parliament, on the first business day of business, it always begins with a prayer and the name of Jesus Christ was deleted from that prayer. Many of us have made submissions to Parliament to reinstate the prayer.”
Rally organisers met with Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard late last year where he advised he would consider the matter over the holidays.
Pastor Merita Lau Young of Hosanna World Outreach Centre says this is an opportunity for Christians to have a voice that Jesus is alive and well in our nation.
“We need to walk to the talk,” she says. “Jesus is alive and well in our life and the community, Parliament and our nation Aotearoa need to know that.”
The rally will be held on Parliament grounds, Tuesday 30 January from 12pm (midday) to 1.30pm. Parliament sits at 2pm.
For more information contact:
Pastor Ross Smith, Celebration Church
Phone: 027 286 7009