The religious leaders who took part in the June Vigil are part of a growing number of individuals and organisations working together to highlight the plight of asylum seeker children in detention, and who are calling for their release:
If you would like to read more about this social justice issue, the following organisations can provide many resources:
Australian Coalition to End Child Detention Australia - http://endchilddetentionoz.com/
Love Makes a Way - www.facebook.com/LoveMakesAWayForAsylumSeekers
#LoveMakesAWay is a movement of Christians seeking an end to Australia's inhumane asylum seeker policies through prayer and nonviolent love in action. The religious leaders referred to in the Moderator’s Pastoral Note are part of this movement.
On 19th of August (as this issue of TALK was going to press), the government announced that some children would be released from detention. The Uniting Church has released a statement in response to this news, excerpts of which are below:
“We hope that the increased support and protection announced today will be sufficient and ongoing,” said Uniting Church President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney.“The Uniting Church has long been calling for the release of all children and their families and all unaccompanied children from all immigration detention centres.While today’s news is another step in the process, there is much still to be done,”
Rev Elenie Poulos, the National Director of UnitingJustice Australia, [notes that] “Today’s announcement relates to children and their families who arrived before 19 July 2013.This group of asylum seekers was always going to be released. What about those children who are suffering on Nauru and Christmas Island? And what about children over the age of 10?”The Minister’s statement makes it clear that there is no change of Government policy for the remaining children, who Rev. Poulos says continue to be punished in order to send a message to people smugglers. “A truly compassionate response would see all children and their families in Nauru and on Christmas Island brought back to the mainland immediately. No child belongs in detention. Ever,” said Rev. Poulos.”
You can read the full statement at the SA website: http://sa.uca.org.au/uniting-church-news/
From the 9th – 11th of October, Scots Church Adelaide will be hosting the Blackwood Circle of Friends, a refugee support group. Circle of Friends will be organising three days of action to raise public awareness of the plight of children in detention. The most noticeable aspect of this event on the forecourt will be a large, “cage” sculpture containing dolls to represent each child currently in detention. The photographs below show the same sculpture during a similar event held recently in Sydney. Keep an eye out in upcoming Sunday bulletins at Scots for more information!
More photographs can be seen at http://endchilddetentionoz.com/
© Scots Church Adelaide Ph. 08 8223 1505