New Zealand Parliament
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Parliament may axe Jesus from prayer

Fri 10 Nov 2017
By Alex Williams

References to Jesus and the Queen could be dropped from a prayer recited in the New Zealand parliament, under new proposals

Politicians are currently being consulted on the plans to change the passage, which is delivered at the start of each Parliamentary session.

The original prayer reads: "Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Creative Commons

 

According to Radio New Zealand, is it understood MPs have already rejected a more radical rewriting of the prayer would have removed all religious references.

The suggested new version says: "Almighty God, we give thanks for the blessings which have been bestowed on New Zealand.

"Laying aside all personal interests, we pray for guidance in our deliberations, that we may conduct the affairs of this House with wisdom and humility, for the public welfare and peace of New Zealand.

"Amen."

Read out by the Speaker of the House at the Parliament buildings in Wellington (pictured above), the parliamentary prayer is delivered in Te Reo - a Maori language.

According to the 2013 New Zealand census, 48 per cent of the population identify as Christian, while 42 per cent say they are non-religious.

The Queen remains the official monarch of New Zealand, though her role is largely ceremonial.

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