The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) has joined churches, NGOs and others in voicing concerns about Indonesia’s resumption of the death penalty.
UCA President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney is one of 14 organisational leaders who’ve written to both the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia and to the Australian Foreign Minister, expressing grave concerns for at least 11 people facing imminent execution.
Signatories to the letter are asking Indonesia to commute the death sentences to terms of imprisonment. They’re also asking for a moratorium on all executions in Indonesia with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Two Australian citizens Myuran Sukamaran and Andrew Chan are among those facing imminent execution.
“The Uniting Church in Australia opposes capital punishment and stands against the death penalty, be it in Indonesia, the United States, China or wherever it exists,” said Andrew.
“We understand that countries have their own laws and their sovereignty needs to be respected.
“However as Christians we believe that people can repent and know redemption in their life. Taking life by definition denies them that opportunity.
“Jesus calls Christians to love our enemies, telling his followers to be merciful, just as God is merciful.”
“Our duty to show mercy is clear and unequivocal, so now and in the future we must continue to make the public case for mercy against capital punishment, whenever and wherever it is required,” said Andrew.
Church members interested in advocacy on this issue may want to join Amnesty International’s Vigils for Hope that are taking place around the country.