Christians rally to put 'Jesus' back into Parliamentary prayer

Hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament today to rally government to put 'Jesus' back into the Parliamentary prayer. 

Speaker Trevor Mallard removed the reference to Jesus from the prayer last year. Source: 1 NEWS

Hundreds of Christians took to Parliament's grounds to show their opposition to Jesus' name being removed from karakia. Source: 1 NEWS

Jesus for New Zealand spokesperson Pastor Ross Smith said in a statement the "movement" was bringing Christian people together to "make a stand". 

The New Zealand parliamentary prayer was changed last year to no longer include a reference to Jesus, and unsurprisingly, the move divided public opinion.

The Breakfast team battle it out on the merits of changing the prayer. Source: Breakfast

In a Facebook poll by TVNZ1's Breakfast, 1,751 people supported the move and 2,121 people were against the removal. Interestingly, the same poll on the 1 NEWS Facebook page saw 1,184 people in support, and 990 people against. 

Speaker Trevor Mallard was said to have fast-tracked the consultation process to remove Jesus by just not including him in the Parliamentary prayer.

"We feel that the church does not have a voice in this change," Pastor Smith said, "This rally may be the only way to keep Jesus in the prayer."

Pastor Merita Lau Young of Hosanna World Outreach Centre said they would be telling Parliament "Jesus is alive and well in our life". 

"We need to walk to the talk."