Hundreds rally at Parliament to keep Jesus in opening prayer

Hundreds of people have gathered outside Parliament to demand that references to Jesus remain in the Parliamentary prayer.

Attendees at the protest, organised by the Jesus for New Zealand group, were singing, dancing and praying at the forecourt on Tuesday.

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard ditched the reference to Jesus and the Queen from the prayer, shortly after he was appointed last year.

The Speaker reads the prayer aloud at the start of each sitting session, a tradition established in 1854.

Mr Mallard said he would consider the issue over the Christmas break, before making a final decision about whether the reference to Jesus should be permanently removed.

"We want the name of Jesus Christ in the prayer, otherwise to what god are we praying?" said Jesus for New Zealand member Ross Smith.

He said the believers would be closely watching, when the House reopens at 2pm on Tuesday, to see whether Jesus was referenced.

Newshub asked protestors why they were standing up for the issue.

Watch the video.