Christians protest Parliament's removal of Jesus from prayer

A large crowd of Christian supporters have gathered outside the Beehive to protest the removal of references to Jesus from the Parliamentary prayer. 

It comes after hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament in January after Speaker Trevor Mallard announced the decision. The Speaker reads the prayer aloud at the start of each sitting session, a tradition established in 1854.

"As a Christian, we get to demonstrate our love for the name of Jesus into the Parliamentary prayer," one protestor told Newshub outside Parliament in Wellington on Tuesday. 

"It's really a peaceful protest," he said. "As Christians, we have love in our hearts, and it's great to see people gathering right around the country to demonstrate their love for something that they believe in."

Mr Mallard made several changes to the prayer when he was appointed, including ditching references to Jesus and the Queen, as well as reading it in te reo Māori.

Secular Education Network spokesperson David Hines says changing the prayer and removing references to Jesus had actually made it fairer, because Christians "are not the most important people in New Zealand". 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier told The AM Show she thinks Mr Mallard could have consulted the community a little more over the decision, but said she's satisfied with the new prayer.