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Leave Parliament Prayer Alone

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BISHOP BRIAN TAMAKI

31 May 07

Leave Parliament Prayer Alone

Bishop Brian Tamaki says a political move to extract the Christian prayer from Parliament is an affront to a tradition that has been honoured in over 143 years of Parliament practice.

Speaker of the House, Margaret Wilson, has sent a letter to all MPs asking if they wanted to keep the prayer and, if so, whether the wording should be changed. One option under consideration is the removal of the words "through Jesus Christ our Lord".

“This is exactly the reason why I, and thousands of others, rallied at Waitangi two days ago to protect our Christian Heritage from politicians with a set agenda to extract those elements of Christianity from our judicial, political and social arrangements. What are they going to target next, our National Anthem?” says Bishop Tamaki.

On Tuesday at Waitangi, Bishop Tamaki presented a declaration to representatives of Prime Minister Helen Clark, seeking to formally recognise New Zealand’s Christian heritage in such a way that future Governments could not tamper with it. (Background information on www.christiannation.org.nz)

“In terms of the parliament prayer, I believe it is very important that our law makers acknowledge God before they go about their business. By doing so they honour the founding values of our nation and are reminded that there is a higher authority than themselves, although I suspect this reminder is the very reason why they want the prayer removed,” Bishop Tamaki added.

ENDS

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