Following the news of Dawkins' minor stroke the Church of England tweeted "Prayers for Prof Dawkins and his family," causing a worldwide collective cringe.

The irony will be immediately clear to anyone familiar with Dawkins work. He is a staunch atheist and the bestselling author of The God Delusion. Faith in God, he once stated, is "one of the world's great evils".

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."

"Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion."


And so on.

Twitter users are now debating whether it was a kindly gesture or an epic troll by the Church of England to say they're praying for him.

One user said "Top trolling there by C of E. Romans 12 v 20." Another wrote "did this just happen?"

Wellington blogger, Giovanni Tiso, posted: "This has to be the most needlessly cruel tweet of all time."

While some consider the tweet spiteful and insensitive, many others are defending the Church, saying it was a benevolent and graceful gesture.

"A Christian prays for everyone, regardless of that persons belief. Its a message of support," One wrote.

Dawkins was forced to cancel his tour to New Zealand and Australia, which was due to kick off in Sydney next week.

He is expected to make a full or "near-full" recovery soon.