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Presbyterians say lift your neighbours up

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016

The Presbyterian Church has issued a message of hope in stark contrast to that of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.

The day before Monday's devastating magnitude-7.8 quake, Mr Tamaki told his congregation natural disasters and specifically the deadly Christchurch earthquakes had been caused by sin building up and spewing out of the ground, saying "you could have just about predicted that one".

Right Rev Richard Dawson, the new moderator of the Presbyterian church in New Zealand, says the comment that natural disasters are a form of divine punishment, is unnecessary and unhelpful and distressing.

He was commenting after the general assembly of the NZ Presbyterian church in Dunedin on Friday.

The church expressed its "prayerful solidarity" with all those affected by the earthquake and storm disasters in New Zealand this week.

Presbyterian churches in North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington have been deeply affected. They are supporting, and being supported by, their communities.

Under these difficult circumstances they are embracing hope over fear.

"Let's reach out and help our neighbours. Lift them up, do not put them down. Be compassionate and generous. There is enough love and hope to go around," Rev Dawson says.

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