Anglican anger over Australian asylum policy: The Church of England Newspaper, July 28, 2013. p 6. August 1, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, Immigration.
Tags: Jeffrey Driver, John Harrower, Kevin Rudd
Anglican leaders have denounced as “inhumane” Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd new asylum policy. The Bishop of Tasmania, the Rt. Rev. John Harrower denounced the new policy as un-Christian, taking to Twitter to write: “Dear Prime minister, Jesus weeps.”
The prime minister’s plans to settle asylum-seekers arriving by boat in Australia in Papua New Guinea as was “politically driven, based on popular myth, and inhumane” the Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Rev. Jeffrey Driver said on 19 July 2013.
Under an agreement signed on Friday with the Papua New Guinea government, asylum-seekers arriving by boat will be sent PNG for processing and those judged to be refugees will be settled in PNG.
Mr Rudd said his government would “make no apology for the decision we’ve taken”. The Australian government sought to end the trade in immigrant trafficking he said, which saw smugglers load unsafe boats with desperate immigrants. “These folk are merchants in death and their business model needs to be dismantled, part of this policy response is to do just that,” he said.
However Dr. Driver, the chairman of the Anglican Church’s Refugee Network, said the new “policy claims to address the risks to people arriving by boat, yet it comes into play only after people have made the dangerous journey to Australia by boat.”
“This policy plays to the myth that somehow boat arrivals have ‘jumped the queue’, but in the disorderly and dangerous world of displaced people there is often simply no queue to jump. People do what they can to save their own lives and the lives of people they love,” the Archbishop said.
The Australian government should take “strong action against people smugglers”, Dr. Driver said, but added this plan penalizes the refugee, not the smuggler.