Christians unite for Afghanistan
Christian leaders and organisations across the country have issued a joint call to the Australian Government to do more to provide safety for refugees from Afghanistan.
Launched today, the Christians United for Afghanistan campaign calls on the Government to welcome an intake of an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees and to take further steps to support the well-being of people from Afghanistan living in Australia.
UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis joined other Christian leaders in calling on the Government to scale up its response.
“Australia must respond generously and compassionately to this crisis. We have the capacity as a nation to take leadership and action in order to protect lives and bring people to safety,” said Rev Hollis.
“As followers of Jesus, we believe each person is precious and loved by God. Right now, the scale of this crisis requires us to work together to provide protection and refuge to those who are in danger.”
The President encouraged all Uniting Church members to show their support for the campaign by signing on as a Church, individual or organisation.
The campaign has four asks:
- Welcome Afghan Refugees: Declare an intake of an additional 20,000 refugees focused on those most at risk from the Taliban (just as they did for people fleeing Syria in 2015 and as the UK and Canada have announced).
- Protect Afghans in Australia: Grant permanent protection to all people from Afghanistan in Australia on temporary protection visas or currently awaiting application outcomes.
- Reunite Refugee Families: Make immediate arrangements to bring the families of refugees from Afghanistan to Australia.
- Support through Humanitarian Aid: Provide additional emergency and long-term support through reputable NGOs and organisations working in the region.
UCA members can also support an emergency appeal launched by UnitingWorld supporting the work of the ACT Alliance to assist about 50,000 uprooted families in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.
The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce is one of a growing list of organisations who have joined the campaign, including the National Council of Churches, UnitingWorld, Act for Peace, Common Grace and others.
Chair of Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce and Assembly Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd said, “Our faith calls us to live out the Christian values of compassion, generosity, and hospitality for all people. As a country, as Churches, Christians and Australians we must do all we can to share these values with the people of Afghanistan.”
Photo: Micah Australia
The Uniting Church has long advocated for Australia to care and support refugees and people seeking asylum. Find out more here:
“As we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger and care for the thirsty, the sick and the imprisoned, there is the mysterious possibility that we will discover the life of Christ among us (Matthew 25: 31-46), and share the love of God.” Dignity in Humanity, Uniting Church in Australia (2006).