Kids Off Nauru campaign to hold vigils
On 2 November, the Kids Off Nauru campaign will be hosting a series of vigils in major cities around Australia.
The campaign, which calls for all asylum seeker children to be removed from Nauru, will host the Sydney event at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.
The vigils’ announcement comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced he is willing to accept New Zealand’s longstanding offer to take some of the asylum seekers, provided the federal opposition agree to a travel ban that would ensure none of them ever enter Australia.
The opposition have indicated that they may be willing to support this move. One of the conditions that they have placed on this includes the removal of all children and their families. Three Liberal backbenchers, Craig Laundy, Russell Broadbent and Julia Banks, have called on their government to bring all children to Australia.
The campaign to remove children from Nauru has a wide support base and includes organisations like Love Makes A Way and World Vision. The Uniting Church previously joined this coalition in calling for the removal of children in late August.
Eleven children were recently airlifted to Australia to receive medical treatment. Reports have indicated that children on Nauru have shown signs of a severe trauma related disorder called resignation syndrome, which includes a progressive social withdrawal.
“A no brainer”
Love Makes A Way’s Matthew Anslow told Insights that the campaign is a no-brainer.
“Two things that Christians should be able to unite around – apart from our faith in Jesus – are our commitment to prayer, and our insistence on treating others the way we would want to be treated,” Dr Anslow said.
“It ought to be a no-brainer, then, that we’d get together around the country to pray as part of the current Kids Off Nauru campaign. After all, we would never want what has been done to people in detention to be done to us and our families, regardless of our political leanings.”
“Jesus taught us that whoever receives a child in his name receives him. Christians in Australia should be the first and most vocal proponents of getting all children and their families off Nauru.”
The campaign is calling on all Christians, regardless of denomination, to pray for children currently held on Nauru on 2 November.
“We’ll be praying at cathedrals and churches around the country, and if you’re not close to one of our gatherings, hold one at your church or home,” Dr Anslow said.
“Together we’ll lament what has been, and witness to what could be.”
For more information, and to RSVP to the Sydney vigil, check out the event’s Facebook page.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor