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Christians will support leaders who get kids off Nauru

A broad coalition tells PM and Shorten to take bold action

Christian organisations and churches have told Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that “any leader who takes bold action to bring all the children on Nauru and their families to Australia will have our organisations and communities’ vocal support”.

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The broad coalition of 62 denominations, organisations and churches includes St Vincent de Paul Society, the Uniting Church in Australia, Anglican Overseas Aid, Caritas, Micah Australia, Baptcare, Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand, Assyrian Australian Association, Quakers Service Australia, and Jews for Jesus.

In an email sent late last week to Australia’s top political leaders, the group wrote: “We urge you to follow your moral compass rather than your fear. The world refugee crisis is a complex problem – but locking up children is never the answer.”

This coalition has added its voice to the rising chorus of Australians – which includes more than 6000 doctors – who have called upon the nation’s political parties to work together to end the offshore detention crisis.

“We stand with the doctors, led by the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australasian College of Physicians, who have deemed the situation for children on Nauru a ‘humanitarian emergency’ that is making children seriously ill and [have also] called on all children and their families to be urgently brought off Nauru.”

Some Christian organisations have steadily voiced their opposition to Australia’s offshore detention policies, such as Love Makes a Way. It has seen almost 200 arrests of Christian leaders protesting the detention of children through the holding of prayer meetings in politician’s offices.*

“We call on you to resolve this issue by Universal Children’s day, November 20.”

However, as the situation on Nauru has become more urgent recently, coalitions like this one have increased. They are bringing together activists with groups whose advocacy has previously been less confrontational, to deliver an unequivocal message.

“We would never allow our children to grow up like this,” stated the coalition of 62 churches and organisations. “We call on you to resolve this issue by Universal Children’s Day, November 20.

“Now is the time to place these children first and take action on this medical emergency before it’s too late.”

*Kylie Beach has participated in Love Makes a Way protests.

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