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Media Releases

from the National Council of Churches in Australia

The following brief Christmas messages from many of Australia’s churches are shared with you in this final week of Advent 2010.

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A message of peace for all

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth
peace among those whom God favours!”  (Luke 2:13-14)

Saturday, 18 December 2010 01:00

Filipino Health Workers 'Morong 43' Walk Free

In the early hours of Saturday morning news filtered out of Manila that 38 of the 43 community health workers walked free after 10 months and seven days in detention. This news is warmly welcomed by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). The Reverend Tara Curlewis, General Secretary of the NCCA said “yesterday’s news that a court in Rizal province ordered their release after the State prosecutors withdrew charges was fantastic. Now to know that these people are reunited with their families sees the hopes of many around the world became a reality.”

Tuesday, 23 November 2010 01:00

Aid Agency Hits Back at Christmas Waste

From act for peace the International Aid Agency of the National Council of Churches

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Today, the international aid agency Act for Peace launched its annual appeal, the Christmas Bowl, encouraging Australians to share their Christmas with war-torn communities. The appeal is set to hit back at the billions of dollars spent each December on Christmas gifts that prove to be unwanted.

Act for Peace’s Executive Director, Alistair Gee said, “We’re injecting some meaning back into Christmas. It’s not all about socks, scented candles and neck ties. With the help of Australians, we’re aiming to raise over $2.7 million to support war-torn and refugee communities around the world. What do we have to lose? Well, apart from a few socks and foot spas.”

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) shares the grief of Iraqi Christians following deadly attacks whilst people attended church in Baghdad. “With broken hearts we mourn the tragic and violent deaths of our brothers and sisters at Mass on 31 October” said the Reverend Tara Curlewis, NCCA General Secretary.

from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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The announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government will work towards recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution was welcomed by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) as a positive action to address a long overdue omission.

Executive Secretary of the NATSIEC, Mr Graeme Mundine, has however raised concerns that Constitutional recognition will not mean anything unless the rights of Indigenous people are protected and respected in all policy decisions and implementation.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 14:48

Christmas Bowl Delivers Aid as Crises Loom

From Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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Australian christians who support Act for Peace’s Christmas Bowl program in 2010 will offer a life-line to thousands of refugees who are suffering through the unfolding crises in Burma (Myanmar) and Sudan.

Burma’s military dictatorship has announced victory in Burma’s first elections in 20 years. Based on reports on the ground, the process was dominated, restricted and manipulated by the military junta. The elections have left the country more volatile than ever, with eruptions of violence causing citizens to seek refuge.

From Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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Today, a Bill was introduced into the Federal Parliament to give effect to the Convention on Cluster Munitions which makes it illegal to assist in the production of cluster munitions.The ANZ bank currently provides loans totaling $135.8 million to cluster munitions manufacturers.

In light of the Bill, Act for Peace (the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia) urges Australian banks which currently fund cluster munitions manufacturers for any reason to now cancel their funding.

From Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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During United Nations (UN) Disarmament Week (Oct 24-31), a bill to enact the Convention banning Cluster Munitions is reported to be tabled in the House of Representatives, though it is unlikely to contain a provision prohibiting financial institutions from funding manufacturers of cluster bombs.

 

Tham-Hin-2-2010-Kids-eating-310_2from Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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Many Australians have said that a vote for either major party at the recent Federal Election was a vote against refugees. As the people of Burma (Myanmar) go to the polls on November 7, Act for Peace’s Christmas Bowl will give church-goers a chance to reach out to Burma’s refugees during a time of political repression and unresolved armed conflicts.

Monday, 20 September 2010 00:00

World Council of Churches Living Letters Visit

from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission
      of the National Council of Churches in Australia

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The World Council of Churches’ Living Letters visit to Australia has now concluded in Darwin, Northern Territory (NT).  The team spent the past week visiting communities at Galiwink’u, Mapuru, Wadeye, Hermannsburg, Amoonguna and Mount Nancy Town Camps.  They also spoke to students at Nungalinya College and Aboriginal Anglican clergy from around the NT diocese who were meeting in Darwin.

The team released a statement with their initial observations expressing gratitude to the people who generously gave of their time to meet with them and who shared their stories.

From the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC)

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The World Council of Churches Living Letters visit to the Northern Territory (NT) in Australia has commenced in Darwin. The Living Letters Team is visiting Australia at the invitation of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC). The invitation was extended to show solidarity with Aboriginal people and to share insights and helpful approaches to achieving Just Peace. Specifically, the visitors will listen to Aboriginal people talk about their experiences of the NT Emergency Response (The Intervention) and other social justice issues.

Australian Partnership of Religious Organisation (APRO)

In light of reports that seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran have been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO) joins the Australian Government in expressing deep concern at the treatment of the Iranian Bahá’í community.
These seven leaders – Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm – were charged with espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, and the establishment of an illegal administration, among other allegations. They have already endured more than two years of “temporary” detention under harsh conditions, in clear breach of the rights to which they are entitled under Iranian and international law.

from Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia
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Act for Peace’s partners responding to the floods in Pakistan welcome the Australian Government’s $25 million increase to the response effort though insist the need is much greater and time is running out.

from the National Council of Churches in Australia

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The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) welcomes the decision by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to send an international ecumenical delegation to visit the Indigenous Peoples of Australia from 12-17 September 2010.

from Act for Peace the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches

Two outspoken and prominent Palestinian Community Leaders arrive in Melbourne this Sunday to call for unequivocal action to end the blockade of Gaza and justice for the Palestinian people.

The visit is set to coincide with the scheduled release of the Israel Defense Force Report, investigating the bloody attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla.