Statement from Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee

I plead with Minister Scott Morrison to reframe how he sees asylum -seekers, in the spirit of Christmas.
 
Instead of punishing the asylum-seekers already living in Australia with intimidatory new "codes of conduct" and endless uncertainty, see them as a gift to our nation.
 
They are mostly young and want to contribute. Speaking with some, it is clear they yearn for a meaningful life in a safe place. Let them study and work. Let them belong.
 
Most will end up recognised as refugees. They cannot go back to their homelands and in a world of near 30 million displaced people these asylum-seekers in Australia probably won't find a third country to take them.
 
It is Christmas: a time of gift-giving, as we remember God's gift in Jesus.
 
It is also time to reframe the way we see this matter. Minister Scott Morrison can give these asylum-seekers the gift of belonging, drawing the line under what has gone before. In return, they, and in the years that follow, their children, will be a gift to our nation.
 
Minister Morrison – here is your chance to make Christmas memorable in an inspiring and uplifting way!
 
For further information contact: Bishop Philip Huggins on 0418 799 515
 

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