Asylum seeker policy immoral: Vic church

October 18, 2014 |

ABOUT 800 Victorian church leaders have openly deplored Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

MELBOURNE’S Anglican diocesan parliament on Thursday night declared the government’s policy contrary to Christian teaching and morals, and a vast majority of the 800 clergy and representatives committed to actively conveying their concerns to MPs and the public.

The group will interrupt their debates on Saturday to gather outside Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral, under a banner declaring “Let’s fully welcome refugees”.Bishop Philip Huggins urged the government to lift Australia’s refugee intake from 13,500 to 30,000 a year.He said it was good that fewer people were dying at sea, but international conflicts meant an influx of refugees and the present deterrence-based policy amounted to human rights abuse.The church’s vote was not unanimous, with Cranbourne minister David Powys saying efforts on both sides of parliament shouldn’t be dismissed.It comes as about 30 Edmund Rice Education Australia school communities carry out national silent protests against the detention of asylum seeker children, arguing they should be allowed to live in the community.About 200 people gathered at Essendon’s St Bernard’s College on Friday with their mouths taped and wrists bound, including 17-year-old student Thomas Monaghan who said he felt strongly about the issue.”We wanted to be the voice for those people that don’t have a voice,” he told reporters.”Kids that grow up in detention centres end up have a high chance of having mental illness when they’re older, so we are trying to put a stop to that and allow these children to be children.”



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Filed under Asylum Policy, Public Reaction/Perception Towards Asylum Seekers

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