Dozens of people associated with Destiny Church have gathered outside Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque to declare "Jesus Christ is the true God".

The group of 70 to 100 included people from two groups, Man Up and Legacy, both of whom are affiliated with Destiny Church.

The group met across the road from the mosque, in Hagley Park around 3.30pm yesterday. Destiny Church Christchurch senior pastor Derek Tait said the gathering had been organised several weeks before.

The pastor referred to the Friday call to prayer in Hagley Park in central Christchurch a week after the terror attack on March 15, as motivation for the group's declaration that New Zealand is a Christian country.

Advertisement

"Our Prime Minister declared we could say a Muslim prayer out in public and over the airwaves," he said.

"I was in that actual prayer meeting ... I respectfully stood, but did not say the prayer.

"I thought it would be quite appropriate with me being a pastor and a believer of Jesus Christ to go back to the same spot and declare that Jesus Christ is the true god."

During the call to prayer on March 22, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealanders were encouraged to join in wherever they were.

"I know many New Zealanders wish to mark the week that has passed since the terrorist attack and to support the Muslim community as they return to mosques. How we choose to reflect during the silence will be different for each of us.

An Islamic call to prayer was broadcast over television, radio, and inside mosques, many of which were inviting all New Zealanders through their doors.

Tait described the group's actions, which involved loudspeakers to broadcast their declaration across to the mosque yesterday afternoon, as "very respectful".

"If I stand in public and I say I disagree with something or someone, that does not mean it's hate," he said.

Tait said the group's actions were not intended to offend the Muslim community - nor did he believe it had caused offence.

"All through the tragedy I've worked very closely with them and we've helped out on the ground, built a lot of friends and relationships with not just Muslims in Christchurch, but all around the world."

Tait said several of those in the group went into the mosque after their declaration. He did not, as he had a "flight to catch".

The group's actions have attracted criticism on social media forums.

Former Green MP and activist Catherine Delahunty tweeted: "Dear Destiny church, leave the Muslim community alone."

"P.S their religion and yours come from same place, difference is ok."

Others slammed the move as "disrespectful" and "disgraceful".

On March 21, Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki posted on Twitter about Jacinda Ardern's call to prayer on March 22, calling it an "abuse" of her Prime Ministerial power.

"PM Jacinda Ardern has abused her Prime Ministerial decree in allowing 'Allah as the only true God to be sounded in Muslim prayer across the airwaves in our nation tomorrow," he wrote on Twitter.

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki posted on Twitter about Jacinda Ardern's call to prayer on March 22, calling it an
Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki posted on Twitter about Jacinda Ardern's call to prayer on March 22, calling it an "abuse" of her Prime Ministerial power. Photo / File