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Afghanistan crisis

Prayer for Afghanistan 

Today we lament for the nation of Afghanistan.

For the women and girls who are now in fear. 

For the crowds panicked at the airport in Kabul.

For desperate people falling from moving aircraft. 

For the people who will be left behind

as governments scramble to get their own people out first.

For our refugees left stateless.

We lament the death threats to nationals

who worked with the now fallen government and pray for their relief.

God of all people, hear their cries.

We sit in the midst of human frailty

Recognising government failures

is also our failure as a nation. Amen

~ © Anne Right (Director of Education at Uniting Church Western Australia) 

 

Raising our voices

The National Council of Churches in Australia writes to Federal Australian Government

We are all feeling desperate about the situation in Afghanistan.  We have heard from our church agencies who have had calls from many Afghan people who have family in Afghanistan or worrying about the related issues they see as emerging in Pakistan.

The NCCA has written requesting a commitment for Afghan refugees.

You can write too

We ask that Australia:

  • Grant permanent protection or citizenship to all Afghan people seeking asylum and refugee status currently living in Australia or in immigration detention
  • Declare an intake of 20000 Afghan refugees (matching the Canadian commitment announced last night)
  • Assist Afghan Australians with urgent family reunion applications for relatives who are in imminent danger 

Would you consider writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration, the Labor Leader and your own MP? 

More details here

Read the NCCA-ACRT letter to the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison:  pdf 210817 NCCA ACRT PM AFG (193 KB)

 

RACS Petition: Action For Afghanistan

307 organisations and 90,000 people have signed this petition. Join them here: https://www.actionforafghanistan.com.au/ 

The Australian government has a moral obligation to support the Afghan people.

We the undersigned strongly urge Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help at-risk groups and to ease the suffering of the Afghan people by:

  1. Committing to an additional humanitarian intake of at least 20,000 prioritising the most vulnerable persecuted Afghans, identified above, similar to Canada’s announcement on 14 August 2021 accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees, and similar to Australia’s response to the Syrian conflict in 2015 in accepting 12,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees.
  2. Expediting the resettlement of Afghan interpreters, guides and other personnel involved in Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.
  3. Granting permanent protection to more than 5,100 Afghan refugees, predominantly from the historically persecuted Hazara ethnic groups, who are currently on temporary protection visas in Australia.
  4. Granting amnesty to all Afghan nationals currently in Australia who fear returning to Afghanistan.
  5. Prioritising the family reunification visas of Afghan-Australians, including those who are prevented from reuniting with their families due to a government ministerial directive that requires the Department of Home Affairs deprioritise family reunion of hundreds of Afghans in Australia.
  6. Lifting the ban on resettlement of refugees to Australia through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Indonesia, a ban which has been in place since 2014. This ban continues to limit resettlement options for 10,000 Afghan refugees awaiting safety and protection.

 

Refugee Council of Australia

Over 300 organisations, businesses, and community groups have signed on to this joint letter.

The Refugee Council of Australia thanks all who were able to add their name to the joint letter. These have been sent individually to all Federal Parliamentarians and a copy available online (including the over 300 signatories): https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/over-300-organisations-businesses-and-community-groups-call-on-all-parliamentarians-to-respond-to-the-crisis-in-afghanistan/   

The Refugee Council of Australia, like many of you and other organisations and individuals, are in ongoing discussions with Governmental officials and Ministers to progress the urgent response required by Australia (and the world). Please get in touch if there are issues or ideas that you would like to share.  

 

FECCA letter to the Prime Minister to support Afghan diaspora in Australia

17 August 2021

The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minster of Australia

CC: The Hon Alex Hawke MP

Minister for Immigration

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: Supporting Afghan diaspora in Australia

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) is writing to you today concerning the impacts of the situation in Afghanistan on the Afghan diaspora in Australia.

Given the scale of the humanitarian crisis unfolding across Afghanistan today, Afghans in Australia are understandably terrified for their safety and the safety of their loved ones left behind.

This is a humanitarian crisis and Australia has always responded with generosity and compassion in these situations. FECCA implores the Government to assist Afghans in Australia and those still in Afghanistan with a strong connection to Australia.

In addition to the commendable efforts already underway by the Australian Government, FECCA urges the Government to:

  • Offer permanent protection to all Afghans in Australia on temporary visas, especially the 4200 Afghans on bridging and safe haven enterprise visas;
  • Include additional places in the humanitarian program for Afghans and expedite their processing;
  • Introduce special measures to speed up family reunification for Afghans in Australia, especially for vulnerable women and children in Afghanistan.

FECCA offers its support to the Government in accomplishing the above steps.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Patetsos, Chairperson

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) 

For media inquiries contact: 0401 125 370 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Statements on Afghanistan

Pax Christi International

Pax Christi International and its member organisations are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan where Taliban forces have seized control of the capital and the rest of the country. 

Harsh rule by the Taliban two decades ago and atrocities committed in recent weeks in areas under their control have intensified the fear and sense of abandonment. This is especially true for those who have served the government, civil society organisations who have painstakingly worked for reforms, and women who have taken huge risks associated with defending their rights to education, free expression, and participation. Academics, writers, journalists, and other media workers; members of ethnic minorities and Shia Muslims, in particular Hazaras, are also at great risk.  

As an international peace organisation with a deep commitment to nonviolence, we are heartbroken by what decades of war and violence have wrought. Immediate attention to physical and human rights protections for the most vulnerable; accountability for atrocities; and diplomatic efforts to engage the Taliban at every level—from the local to the international, as difficult and often unreliable as those may be, are essential. But a deep reflection on the failure of war and the need to invest in effective tools for building just peace must also be undertaken nationally and internationally. 

Urgently, we call on the Taliban to remember and to act in accordance with your own dignity as human beings, to honor what you have promised—not to take a path of retaliation and to create a secure environment. We implore you to reject abusive power, to respect the equal rights of your Afghani sisters and brothers and to recognise in particular the great capacity of women to contribute to the wellbeing of society. 

With equal resolve, we call on the international community, particularly the United States, working with the United Nations and other multilateral bodies to:  

  • ensure human rights protections and provide for the safe evacuation of vulnerable Afghan populations;
  • provide for visa/immigration accommodations for Afghanis everywhere, including in Europe and the United States;
  • provide immediate aid for neighbouring countries that will inevitably host Afghani refugees and coordinated protocols for prompt resettlement to third countries for people particularly at risk;
  • increase significantly and negotiate reliable access for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, including emergency food and medical aid as needed; and 
  • ensure the participation of Afghan civil society groups in making decisions about humanitarian aid and the resettlement of refugees. 

In particular, we call on the United Nations to remain fully engaged in the crisis, including at the Security Council level, undertaking efforts to negotiate or coerce Taliban respect for international law and standards of decent behavior, including in reality on the ground throughout Afghanistan. Careful thought should be given to what nonviolent strategies for the protection of vulnerable communities and, in particular of women and girls, could be applied in Afghanistan now. 

 The UN Human Rights Council and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) should be prepared to collect information and publicly report evidence of serious violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict. 

Finally, as a faith-based organisation, Pax Christi International calls on all people of goodwill to pray for the people of Afghanistan and to engage in every effort to end the suffering that the Afghan people have endured through decades of unending war.  

A PDF version of this statement is available here.

 

Prayers

Afghan Pastors Ask for Prayer (9Marks)

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” (Heb 13:3)

Here are specific ways they have asked for you and your church to pray.

1. Physical Protection and Provision

“Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.” (Ps 109:1 – 2)

2. Spiritual Provision 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Rom 15:13)

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might…” (Col 1:11a)

3. Gospel Advance 

“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.” (2 Thes 3:1-2) 

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jer 32:27)

Read the full requests here 

 

World Council of Churches (WCC)

WCC calls for prayers for people of Afghanistan as fears of violence grow

Media Release of Monday 16 August calls for prayers:

The World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed concern and called for prayers for the people of Afghanistan as fears of violence and oppression grew. 

Comment on developments in Afghanistan, 16 August 2021

The World Council of Churches invites its member churches around the world, and all people of faith, to pray for the people of Afghanistan.  

Morning Prayer for Monday, 3 May 2021 

WCC Service in the week with prayers for Afghanistan on 3 May 2021

Listen:     Ay farzandane nur (Oh children of the light; Afghanistan/Iran)

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