Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Melbourne Archbishop condemns maltreatment of asylum-seekers

Church renews offer to help resettle refugees

Statement by the Anglican Primate of Australia, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier

The release of files from the asylum-seeker detention centre in Nauru published on the Guardian website today are shocking and saddening.

If true, they paint a picture of successive Australian governments abandoning vital moral principles and treating refugees with callous cruelty to send a message of deterrence. It is always wrong to use people as a means to another end.

Yet the Government has done this under stringent secrecy, because it knows that most Australians would repudiate such appalling maltreatment.

The Anglican Church of Australia, which already has several programs helping refugees, has indicated before that it stands ready to help in any way it can. I repeat this offer today.

We have also repeatedly asked the government to end the cruel detention, especially of children, in these centres. It must act now in a morally responsible manner and move the asylum-seekers onshore.

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