Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Remember the spirit of Christmas:

The Government is urged to stop punishing asylum-seekers and to see them as a gift.
By Bishop Philip Huggins
Date: December 24 2013
Editor Rating:

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!

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