Uniting Churches Light the Dark
Only days after the circulation of the tragic photos of young Syrian refugees in Turkey, thousands gathered in Australia’s capital cities to send a clear message to the world that our Government, who refused to take any Syrian refugees, and who keep asylum seekers locked up in detention, does not represent them.
Sydney Hirt and Marcus Campbell were amongst the ten thousand people in Sydney with twenty other members from Leichhardt Uniting Church. They spoke about the importance of being at rallies like the Light the Dark.
‘I think just being here is an important thing, you know showing up, being physically present, and as well it’s a huge encouragement. We always get comments from people at these sorts of things, saying how important it is that the Church is present and standing in solidarity,’ Marcus said.
Since the Light the Dark vigil, the Government has been forced to respond by announcing that they would take an additional twelve thousand Syrian Refugees, on top of the existing refugee quota. However there are still thousands of refugees and asylum seekers still suffering in Nauru and Manus.
‘The next step I guess would be finding ways to sustain the movement and the momentum,’ Marcus said.
Sydney is confident that Leichhardt Uniting Church will continue to be a strong part of the growing #RefugeesWelcome movement in Australia.
‘It’s definitely a huge part of our discipleship calling to welcome the stranger and be on the side of the poor and the oppressed, so it’s pretty core to what we believe,’ she said.
‘We’re closely affiliated with Love Makes a Way, so we’ve done a lot of actions with them, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do that. And mostly just praying about it and meeting as a group and figuring out what we can do to support the organisations that already do fantastic work in Sydney.
As well as Leichhardt Uniting Church, many other members of the Uniting Church from across the metropolitan area were in attendance.
Photos courtesy: Andrew Hill, see the Flickr gallery of the event here.
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