The parliament of the increasingly secular nation of New Zealand has removed a reference to Jesus Christ in a new version of a prayer that is said before the start of every sitting session. Radio New Zealand reported on Thursday that Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard has already started using the new version despite the period of consultation not yet being over. The original version of the prayer read:

“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 honor of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquility of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” CONTINUE