“We advise governments as a global church: you have to accept every human being regardless of their religious or political affiliation, whether they are female or male, old or young – you must take them,” Bishop Munib Younan states strongly.
Bishop Younan is a Palestinian Christian leader who visited Australia for the first time in September. The Bishop is the current President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and provides leadership for the Heads of Local Christian Churches in Jerusalem and the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, a group comprised of Jerusalem’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.
He believes that the Australian Government’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ and other exclusionary policies will harm Australians first, before it harms anyone else.
“This policy is very strange. Didn’t you build this country on immigrants?” Bishop Younan asks.
“The Immigration Minister needs to read the ‘Welcoming the Stranger: Affirmations for Faith Leaders’ that we developed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees last June. It says that every human being has equal rights. To close borders is to deny them these rights. You are not alleviating their problem – you are doubling their problem by dismissing them.