President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan, has called on the Federal Government to take moral leadership and resolve the status of refugees on Manus Island in mainland Australia.
Hundreds of men who remained in the offshore detention centre after its closure on 31 October have been transported to new facilities by Papua New Guinean authorities. Their removal follows a tense stand-off in which the men initially refused to leave.
“Haven’t these people suffered enough? After all this time, is it still impossible for the Federal Government to show some compassion and bring them here?” said Stuart.
“As Christians, we believe all people should be treated with respect. The parable of the Good Samaritan is just one bible story that illustrates the Christian ethic of caring and sheltering people in their time of need.
“We stand together with our sisters and brothers of faith in other Australian churches calling for a long-term humanitarian solution that upholds the dignity of these vulnerable people.”
The Uniting Church in Australia has advocated for the humanitarian treatment of refugees since its inception and for many years has called for an end to mandatory detention and the closure of all offshore processing centres.
“The Federal Government should take the lead in developing a genuine regional approach, where refugees are offered permanent protection regardless of their means of arrival,” said Stuart.
“Just bring these poor people here!”
The Uniting Church South Australia has resolved to encourage congregations to join the call on the Federal Government to find safe haven for the refugees without delay.
This article originally appeared at https://assembly.uca.org.au/news/item/2754-just-bringthemhere.