Major churches join other religions to support Uluru Statement from the Heart
Major churches and other religious organisations have united in an unprecedented way to express their support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Australia’s Anglican, Catholic and Uniting churches, as well as the National Council of Churches – an ecumenical organisation bringing together a number of Australia’s Christian churches – are among the religious groups who have signed a Joint Resolution calling for a constitutionally guaranteed First Nations voice.
Other groups who signed the resolution include the Australian National Council of Imams, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, in addition to Australian Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus.
It’s the first time such diverse faith communities have come together to endorse the Uluru Statement and its call for a First Nations Voice guaranteed by the Constitution.
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The event was televised live, and included a keynote speech by acclaimed Australian filmmaker and daughter of Aboriginal activist Charlie Perkins, Rachel Perkins of the Arrernte and Kalkadoon Nations.
The Joint Resolution – signed by representatives of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, among other religious organisations – calls on political leaders “to take immediate bipartisan action to hold a referendum on a First Nations voice.”
“Indigenous Australians must be now afforded their rightful place in the Australian Constitution,” the resolution adds.
“I am personally moved by the deep yearning expressed in the Statement from the Heart, and I am so encouraged that faith leaders have offered a response from the heart of their own spiritual traditions,” Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli told The Oz.
“My hope is simply that Catholics will be inspired by Jesus to join the hard work of finding constitutional recognition of the voice of first peoples into our parliament, and that reconciliation will find new energy and witness at this moment in history,” he said.
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel told The Oz he welcomed our new government’s commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart and will “look forward to that process unfolding in coming months”.
The full text of the Joint Resolution on the Uluru Statement from the Heart reads:
“On this day in 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples came together at Uluru and asked Australians to walk with them towards a better future.
Through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Indigenous Australians asked for constitutional recognition through a constitutionally guaranteed voice in their own affairs.
As leaders representing diverse religious communities, we declare our support of the Uluru Statement and its call for a First Nations Voice guaranteed by the Constitution.
We endorse this reform as necessary, right and reasonable.
Indigenous Australians must be now afforded their rightful place in the Australian Constitution.
There have been many processes and much work completed.
The one thing left to do is let the Australian people have their say.
We call on political leaders to take immediate bipartisan action to hold a referendum on a First Nations voice.”