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Reform Magazine | August 19, 2017

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Christian activist: Forgive us our trespasses

Christian activist: Forgive us our trespasses

christian_activistJustin Whelan reports on a prayer-trespass

If you honestly thought your government was perpetrating evil, how far would you be willing to go to stop them? We often look back to Nazi Germany, or apartheid South Africa, and ask why more people did not resist the atrocities committed in their name. These cases illustrate a basic truth – there are times when resisting your own government, even to the point of arrest, is not only justified, it is morally necessary.

The question for one group of friends in Australia was: Is our government’s cruel treatment of asylum seekers one of those times? After much discussion, prayer and examination of our consciences, we decided the answer was yes.

On 21 March, nine friends held a calm and peaceful prayer vigil in the electorate office of the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, with five refusing to leave under police instruction. Those five were charged with “trespass”.

There are 1,138 children in Australian immigration detention centres – 1,138 too many. One young person killed in our care is one too many…

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This is an extract from the May 2014 edition of Reform.

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