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Veteran religious campaigner Fred Nile dramatically collapsed shortly after giving a speech to Christian protestors outside Channel 10’s Sydney office on Saturday.

The member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, 88, joined more than a hundred protestors who demonstrated against a controversial segment that aired on The Project last month.

He gave a short speech, praising the crowd for gathering, before his wife Silvana Nero gave a longer address, calling on Christians in Australia to stand up for their rights.

However, the event took a dramatic turn when the veteran campaigner collapsed in the sunshine, shortly after his speech.

Veteran campaigner Fred Nile dramatically collapsed shortly after giving a speech to Christian protestors outside Channel 10's Sydney office on Saturday

Veteran campaigner Fred Nile dramatically collapsed shortly after giving a speech to Christian protestors outside Channel 10’s Sydney office on Saturday

The member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, 88, joined more than a hundred protestors who demonstrated against a controversial segment that aired on The Project last month

The member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, 88, joined more than a hundred protestors who demonstrated against a controversial segment that aired on The Project last month 

Protestors and police rushed to provide aid to the stricken politician, putting him in the recovery position and calling an ambulance.

As the protesters prayed for Rev Nile, he was loaded into an ambulance with his wife at his side.

Christian groups were enraged by the broadcaster after comedian Reuben Kaye made an ‘offensive’ Jesus joke.

The comedian was speaking about the hate he receives from members of the public – and Christians in particular – for being gay and wearing drag when he joked: ‘I love Jesus. I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more!’ 

Speaking ahead of the protest, Christian Lives Matter said their ‘five aims’ for the rally include ‘cancelling the Project altogether’

‘We come in unity to pray for the conversion of those who mock Our Lord,’ they said in a Facebook post.

They are demanding  a ‘sincere public apology on air, on all their websites and a written signed media statement from the management of The Project’ as well as a no airing of the show during Catholic Holy Week and Orthodox Holy Week.

The group is also asking for ‘assurance that mocking of any faith will never happen again and will be cut off air’ and ‘cancelling The Project all together’ if none of their demands are met.

Christian groups have been protesting the broadcaster after comedian Reuben Kaye made an 'offensive' Jesus joke, Rev Nile collapsed Saturday

Christian groups have been protesting the broadcaster after comedian Reuben Kaye made an ‘offensive’ Jesus joke, Rev Nile collapsed Saturday

Christian groups have been protesting the broadcaster after comedian Reuben Kaye (pictured) made an 'offensive' Jesus joke

Christian groups have been protesting the broadcaster after comedian Reuben Kaye (pictured) made an ‘offensive’ Jesus joke 

One protester named Jo told Daily Mail Australia: ‘When I first realised what was said was said I was surprised it was  on mainstream media.

‘You’ll pretty much get attacked online by the media for saying things against it.

‘I’m more disappointed than angry. Anger is such a strong word because anger relates to hate. We don’t hate people who are born the way they are. Everyone’s got the idea wrong. 

‘Everyone needs to be able to come together and work together. 

‘Everyone does their own thing in their private life. Just leave it at that. Leave it there, leave the religion out of it, leave the kids out of it and everyone respects each other. That’s how it should be.’

ChristianLivesMatter group member Charlie Bakhos has also demanded an apology from the network and comedian.

‘We have all had enough and this show last night crossed the line with the mocking of Our Lord Jesus Christ,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘Everyone needs to stand united and we need to put a stop to all this. @theprojecttv and @channel10au and @reubenkayeofficial must put out a public apology.’

‘Everybody voice your concerns respectfully on their pages. I will be holding a Zoom meeting at 9pm Thursday to discuss how we are all going to stand united in all that’s happening.’

Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris apologised the crude joke the day after it was broadcast.

‘During an interview last night our guest told a joke which we know was deeply and needlessly offensive to many of you,’ Aly said.

‘We want to acknowledge the particular offense that caused our Muslim viewers but especially our Christian viewers.

‘Obviously I understand just how profound that offense was.’

Harris, who burst out laughing after the joke, also joined the grovelling apology.

‘Live TV is unpredictable and when this happened in the last few moments of last night’s show, it took us all by surprise, there wasn’t a lot of time to react in any sort of considered way,’ she said.

However, former panellist Em Rusciano claimed the joke was ‘script-approved’ by the show’s producers – despite the hosts saying it was unscripted and a ‘live TV’ gaffe.

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Rusciano tweeted she finds it ‘hard to believe’ the offensive joke was not green-lit by producers given her experience on the program, which she says includes ‘very little’ improvisation with its live segments being carefully scripted.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received hundreds of complaints from the public after the lewd joke.

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia earlier this month, the media watchdog confirmed: ‘The ACMA has received 203 inquiries about an episode of The Project broadcast on Tuesday 28 February 2023 featuring the comedian Reuben Kaye’.

It’s not clear how many more complaints have been received since.

Rev Nile has been at the forefront of moral campaigns in Australia for more than 50 years. 

Nile has called for bans on casinos, brothels and pornography, tried to reduce drinking and smoking, and urged police to crack down on organised criminals.

He has condemned homosexuality, opposed sex outside marriage and every year prayed to God that torrential rain would fall upon the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras.

The right-wing politician has also called on a ban for Muslim migration. 

Nile has sat in the Upper House of the New South Wales Parliament almost continuously since his election in 1981 and is its longest-serving member.

In 2017, he was denied a visa to the US to attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration as he was deemed a ‘security risk’. 

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