Faith in action
Together, let us welcome those precious children, and their families, who are being held indefinitely on Nauru. Join the call to get #KidsOffNauru by Nov 20.Sign the petition
Sarin is familiar to me. It is the same chemical weapon Saddam used against my people in Halabja. It left over 5000 dead and members of my family still are feeling the affects generations later including cancer, infertility, birth defects as well as fertile land turning into desert.
Sarin - or another deadly nerve agent like it - was used this week in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, a province in northern Syria, killing at least 85 people, including 20 children. This is the kind of reality that makes someone want to flee their home country, seeking safety for their family, praying that another country may take them in.
But as I sit here scrolling through the social media posts of people who are rightly outraged, I ask myself the question, “Why do we differentiate between the kids shown in these horrific images and the kids from these same villages told by the Australian Government ‘There's no way you will make Australia home’?”
It’s almost like we want to run into these images and help these children. But why don’t we want to do the same for the kids our Government has put in detention? The photos that people are crying over - the Syrians who have had all their options torn apart - they have the exact same stories as people who our government is refusing to ever be settled in Australia, simply because they arrived by boat.
Every one of these lives is precious to God. These are children who have seen the same things indefinitely locked up by a government who threatens doctors and social workers with jail for disclosing information about their abuse. There are children locked up in horrific conditions on Manus and Nauru, abused sexually, physically and emotionally and we don't say anything that’s too confronting.
I always have a hard time with this. I try to keep my heart soft, but – please - let's not pretend there's nothing we can do when there is so much we can do.
Let's be part of the solution and actively fight rhetoric that labels these people as anything but human beings desperately seeking home and safety. Let’s not entertain or validate ideas that perpetuate anything else - it hurts them. Let’s begin by giving money to fantastic organisations and writing polite letters to our politicians. And when they still fail to deliver justice, let’s tell our leaders that they must make it right in as many ways and for as many days as it takes for justice to reign.
This Sunday, annual Palm Sunday marches for refugees will take place all over Australia. Churches, organisations, and community groups will unite in peaceful two-hour walks to show solidarity and implore our government to bring people seeking asylum people here, to Australia.
If your heart has been stirred this week over pictures of children and you’ve felt yourself wishing you could something to help these innocent people, then it would be great if you could join us (find your nearest walk here).
Hwvar is a 22 year old, Kurdish-Australian woman who is studying social work at Western Sydney University. She is a valued member of Common Grace's Asylum Seeker justice team.
Kate Leaney urges us to heed the words of Jesus and welcome those precious children, and their families, who are being held indefinitely on Nauru.
Michelle* is a Common Grace supporter and lawyer. We asked her how we can be supporting the men on Manus as they continue their peaceful protest for safety amidst unimaginable conditions.
816 men have been left behind as Manus Island Detention Centre is closed and food and water is cut off. Jarrod McKenna calls us to see Christ in these men, and boldly respond.
Jarrod McKenna from First Home Project chatted with Common Grace in light of news the Government is withdrawing support from 100 people seeking asylum settled in Australia.