President of the Uniting Church in Australia Stuart McMillan has joined civic and religious leaders across the country in supporting this year’s National Day of Unity.
“As Christians we are called to love our neighbour, welcome the stranger, and offer refuge and care to those who are marginalised,” said Stuart.
“The National Day of Unity is a timely reminder of the values we share across our faiths – dignity and respect for all people.”
“We call on all Australians to embrace a spirit of generosity in the way we approach each other, welcome each other and offer hospitality to one another,” said Stuart.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Greens Leader Richard Di Natale and leaders of different faiths officially launched the 2015 National Day of Unity program at Parliament House in Canberra yesterday.
The Prime Minister said the tragic killing of Curtis Cheng in Parramatta a little over a week ago was a reminder of the importance Australians must place on the values of mutual respect and harmony.
“Those who oppose us, those who seek to do us harm want to divide us. We answer them best by being strong and resolute in our unity,” Malcolm Turnbull said.
National Director for Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry Rev Dr Apwee Ting represented the Uniting Church at the launch, alongside 50 representatives of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Baha’i faiths in a show of unity and mutual respect.
“As people of faith, we know God delights in our diversity and also seeks unity in the human family,” said Apwee.
“As we face a critical time as a nation, we must work even harder to reject prejudice and hatred where it arises and be ambassadors for understanding and friendship.”
“Across the Uniting Church, there are many dedicated people helping to build an inclusive society by providing practical care for people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
“We encourage all our members to join in this celebration of diversity of faiths, cultures and traditions.”
Image: Rev Dr Apwee Ting and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.