Australia’s response to asylum seekers and refugees is one of the most significant issues of our age. It is a vexed and very complex issue, muddled by incorrect information and political manoeuvring. As a Christian people, we are called to provide care and comfort to people who come to this country seeking refuge.

The Uniting Church in Australia advocates very strongly for a just approach to asylum seekers and refugees, upholding their human rights and treating them with compassion and dignity.

The Uniting Church approaches the issue of asylum seekers and refugees in the context of the words of Jesus. He spoke of a new community established on righteousness and love, and based on a fellowship of reconciliation — a community in which all members work together for the good of the whole. In essence, working for this kind of society is our contribution to civil society. When we work for freedom, human rights and the common good of the community we are expressing our faith. It is an outworking of the community of God.

Immediate-past Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod, Rev David Baker issued a statement regarding people seeking asylum on 19 October 2018. 

Additional resources include:

Shelter from the Storm, 2015, The Uniting Church statement on asylum seeker and refugee policy.

Iranian Asylum Seekers, 2005, Uniting Church in Australia

Refugee Warehousing, 2003, Uniting Church in Australia

Asylum Seeker and Refugee Policy, 2002, Uniting Church in Australia

Welcome the Stranger, 2000, Uniting Church in Australia

The Uniting Church in Australia’s media releases about asylum seekers and refugees are available from UnitingJustice.

The new worship song Love Makes a Way. Get the lyrics, guitar chords and piano music. This song encourages us to think about how our faith in Jesus informs our response to refugees, especially children, fleeing persecution to Australia.

Refugee Week resource 2015.

SBS’s online quiz—how much do you know about asylum seekers and refugees?

Go Back To Where You Came Fromepisodes and extras from the groundbreaking SBS documentary series.

Kids’ stories—Emmaline Rabbit (see the video) and Home and Away (see the video).

The Welcome Dinner Project helps host dinners of established Australians with new arrivals. The dinners are a good way to meet new poeple, break down barriers and inspire new hope in humanity.

Act for Peace

Act for Peace, the National Council of Churches in Australia, National Program on Refugees and Displaced People. The Uniting Church is one of 19 member Christian Churches.

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce 

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce promotes a shared Christian vision of compassion and hospitality for asylum seekers and refugees. The Uniting Church is well represented on the Taskforce who produced a foundation paper Why Churches Care About Asylum Seekers.

BRASS Network

BRASS Network (Brisbane Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Network) produced Walking Together for people wanting to support asylum seekers in Brisbane. The Uniting Church in Queensland belongs to the BRASS Network.

Justice and International Mission

Justice and International Mission, Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania produced Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Resources and Action Kit, December 2012.

The Right to Work Campaign

The Uniting Church supports this call for all asylum seekers, regardless of mode or date of arrival, who are released into the community on a bridging visa to be granted the right to work.

UnitingJustice Australia

UnitingJustice Australia produces papers, submissions and resources to inform the Christian response to asylum seekers and refugees, including Asylum Seekers Myths & Facts and Justice for Asylum Seekers: Prayer Resources.

Crowd cheers Uniting Church

UnitingJustice director Rev Elenie Poulos addressed a recent Let Them Stay rally, speaking to church and non-church people. The words and actions of the Uniting Church received a very warm reception.

More resources

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