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Tamaki's quake comments 'disgusting'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/11/2016 Sean Martin
NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 23:  Brian Tamaki,leader of Destiny Church, on Parliament steps, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, August 23, 2004.  (Photo by Ross Setford/Getty Images) © Ross Setford/Getty Images NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 23: Brian Tamaki,leader of Destiny Church, on Parliament steps, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, August 23, 2004. (Photo by Ross Setford/Getty Images)

Scorn is being poured on controversial religious leader Brian Tamaki after the Destiny Church leader blamed homosexuality and sinners for earthquakes.

The day before Monday's devastating magnitude-7.8 quake, the Destiny Church leader 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".

"Even the churches [in Christchurch] were allowed all sorts of activity that you wouldn't dare to imagine ... They were actively involved in homosexual practice, homosexual priests," he said.

"It had the highest murder rates. It was a haven for those who were absolutely anti Christ in every way."

Both Prime Minister John Key and the Human Rights Commission say the idea is ignorant.

"Oh yes, it's ridiculous... you always get people coming out with these stupid statements, Mr Key told Newshub.

"The facts of life are New Zealand is a seismically prone country, with a number of very well identified fault lines," Mr Key said.

Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley says Mr Tamaki's "frankly disgusting" comments are both ignorant and ironic, given that Wednesday was UN International Day for Tolerance.

"Mr Tamaki's words are a lesson to us all that intolerance and prejudice is very real," he said.

"At this time when families are mourning loved ones and many more are scared and wondering how to face the next day: this kind of message is frankly, disgusting.

"I encourage New Zealanders to continue to look to our earthquake scientists and our civil defence experts for guidance, rather than putting their trust in Mr Tamaki's sermons."

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