The National Council of Churches of Australia's initiative, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, has put out a Media Release on the ongoing refugee crisis in our nation.
MEDIA RELEASE: CHURCHES WELCOME ALP DECISION ON PROPOSED REFUGEE BAN
8 November 2016: An attempt to enshrine in law a total ban on all refugees who have no choice but to flee over oceans has been called out by the ALP, and we hope that other parties will follow the moral leadership shown by Mr Shorten today, says the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce.
To read the full statement, please click here.
In addition, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference through its spokesperson Bishop Vincent Long ofm conv., Australian Catholic Bishops’ Delegate for Refugees has issued a media release on the same issue. Please click on the image below to view a pdf version of the statement.
Statement Issued 28th July 2016
Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia
To Our Christian Brothers and Sisters
We were deeply distressed to hear of the attack in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and the brutal killing of Father Jacques Hamel in his church.
This is an affront to all people of religion and we join together as Jews, Christians and Muslims to condemn this violent attack in a place of peace and prayer.
Know that we share in your pain and sorrow. The victims and their families and friends are all in our prayers.
We unequivocally condemn those who carried out this attack in the name of God and reject their toxic distortion of Islam.
Gathering this weekend for our annual conference, we stand together in the hope that our love and compassion will help overcome bigotry and hatred.
May the blessing of Shalom, Peace, Salaam speedily grace our planet.
Rabbi Ralph Genende
President JCMA on behalf of JCMA
Ginette Everest, JCMA Executive Officer
Members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities have been coming together since 2003 in JCMA forums, conferences and events to learn more about each other and address some of the more difficult and controversial questions our communities face today.
JCMA recognises the importance of educating our young people in intercultural understanding and respect and runs a primary and secondary school program in Victoria. A Jewish, Christian and Muslim present together giving students and teachers the opportunity to challenge stereotypes and learn to respect diversity and difference.
Today is WORLD REFUGEE DAY!
Celebrated each year on 20th June, it is a time to reflect on the challenges faced by refugees and the courage they demonstrate in overcoming them.
It is also an opportunity to focus our support for millions of people who have been displaced by war, disasters, and humanitarian crises. Multiple humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic and more have forced record numbers of people to flee; world refugee numbers have not been this high since World War II.
They say "a picture speaks a thousand words", and we leave you with this image from Iraqi artist Abbas Alaboudi, and his reflection about detention:
I described the situation of children in detention by this painting he Do not know why he is behind the fence does not know when to come out of the detention does not know what his guilt ( please share show all the world what is happening in detention)
WORLD REFUGEE DAY – FESTIVAL OF HOPE
Saturday 25th June at Brunswick Town Hall
Lentara UnitingCare, Amnesty International and Moreland City Council are partnering to celebrate Refugee Week with a fun festival by refugees, for refugees and all Australians who support them.
Festival of Hope is back with an even bigger and better celebration of refugees and the positive impact they have in our community!
Whether you are already a passionate advocate, have a curiosity to learn more or are simply looking for a fun and positive day out, this event is for you.
A taste of what to expect …
- Inspirational speakers including businesswoman and community leader Mariam Issa who founded Resilient Inspiring Women (RAW) and the community garden that has revolutionised the sea side suburb of Brighton
- Market Stalls selling things to feel good about from social enterprises such as Sisterworks and Free to Feed
- A Congolese dance workshop that will teach you some new moves
- The Action Hub where you can take a stand and fight for more humane policies
- An art exhibition showcasing works by local students on the theme of courage
- Scintillating storytelling that will get you on the edge of your seat
- Advocacy workshops led by organisations with the knowhow on becoming an advocate and activist in this space
- Free henna art and face painting
- The chance to meet with and learn from leading organisations in the field including Uniting Care Lentara, Road to Refuge, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Free to Feed and Sisterworks
- A delicious array of food trucks and Melbourne’s finest coffee
For further information, you can also visit their event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1586663274997874/+
Join Churches Across Australia and Show Refugees We're With Them, Not Against Them
Refugees need our help now more than at any time since World War II. This June, join hundreds of churches across Australia taking part in the Act For Peace Ration Challenge by sharing a meal of refugee rations - exactly the same rations eaten by refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan - and provide life-saving support to refugees around the world.
(Please click on the above picture for further information)
Made by young people in Palestine whose hope is to place a Peace Lamp in every single church in the world and to unite as many Christians and people of faith as possible in a common prayer for peace across the Holy Land. To date, SACC has purchased – and many of you have bought through SACC – more than $16,000 worth of peace lamps/doves from Taybeh, Palestine, thereby generating employment for young people in the village. Additionally, in the past two years SACC has returned to the Holy Land a surplus of $3,600 from sales for various projects. For example, at Easter 2015 $1,000 was sent to help a Centre for the Elderly in the West Bank. At Christmas 2015 we were delighted that we could share from family to family again.
SA Council of Churches invites you and your community to continue to pray for peace among the peoples in the Middle East. We also invite you buy a Peace Lamp or Peace Dove from the Holy Land. For more information see www.sacc.asn.au
In May 2016, twelve people from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim faiths in Melbourne will embark on an incredible journey of discovery to Jerusalem. The group will consist of twelve people, four from each of the three Abrahamic faiths comprising spiritual leaders and lay people, men and women. They will visit each other's historical sacred places to study and share texts, to listen to each other's story and to truly 'meet' in the City of Jerusalem which is so sacred to all three traditions.
For details of the program, program cost, selection criteria and registration form please see the attached flyer or go to the JCMA website www.jcma.org.au/special-events.
(Please point your mouse over the picture above, to download the application form)
MEDIA RELEASE – 4th February, 2016
CATHEDRALS AND CHURCHES AROUND AUSTRALIA OFFER SANCTUARY TO ASYLUM SEEKER FAMILIES FACING DEPORTATION TO NAURU
Brisbane’s St John’s Anglican Cathedral, amongst others, has been declared a place of sanctuary for asylum seekers facing deportation after yesterday’s High Court decision which allowed for their imminent removal to Nauru.
Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt says he is declaring the church as a sanctuary, given the trauma and abuse these asylum seekers face if deported.
“The High Court’s decision means 267 people including 37 babies face imminent removal to Nauru. They could be issued notices at any time and ordered to leave Australia within 72 hours,” said Dr Catt.
“This is a hugely significant action for any Australian church to take. Historically churches have afforded sanctuary to those seeking refuge from brutal and oppressive forces.
“We offer this refuge because there is irrefutable evidence from health and legal experts that the circumstances asylum seekers, especially children, would face if sent back to Nauru are tantamount to state-sanctioned abuse,” said the Very Rev’d Dr Catt.
“This fundamentally goes against our faith, so our church community is compelled to act, despite the possibility of individual penalty against us”.
“It is an extraordinary step. It is a step that will attract the attention of church communities around the world.
“The ancient principle of sanctuary goes back to The Old Testament, and was enshrined in English Common Law. Where a state is causing grievous harm, churches can provide sanctuary and immunity from arrest by authorities. The legality of Sanctuary has never been tested under Australian law, nevertheless we are determined to apply its moral precepts and protect the most vulnerable from certain harm.”
Misha Coleman, Executive Officer for the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said that “Cathedrals that have offered to protect asylum seekers from deportation to a place where people face, rape, sexual assault, and unimaginable conditions, include: St John’s Cathedral Brisbane, St George’s Cathedral Perth, St David’s Cathedral Hobart and Christchurch Cathedral Darwin.
She also said that “many priests and vicars of local churches who feel compelled to provide the moral leadership that their position requires, have also offered Sanctuary. These include: St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church; Darlington, WA; Perth Wesley Uniting Church; Gosford Anglican Church; Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide; St. John’s Uniting Church Essendon; Paddington Anglican Church, Pitt Street Uniting Church and the Wayside Chapel in Sydney. Many other churches have offered to support the Sanctuaries in various ways”.
A press conference will be held on Thursday 4th February at 10.30am with The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt at St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane.
The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt, Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce: 0404 052 494
Misha Coleman, Executive Officer, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce: 0428 399 739
A pdf version available here.