#943 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 17 Aug 2014.
As Australian troops deliver food, water, blankets and medical supplies to refugees trapped in northern Iraq, the President of the NSW Council of Churches has joined other church leaders in writing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, asking them to provide emergency humanitarian aid to Christians fleeing persecution by Islamic State fighters.
Council President, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said he welcomed moves by the Abbott Government to consider reserving up to 4,000 places of the 13,700 annual humanitarian intake for Iraqi and Syrian Christians.
“The situation is awful, with large numbers on the move, facing the threat of genocide. We have a duty to respond with compassion,” Dr Clifford said.
Australia also has a Special Humanitarian Program offering 20,000 places over five years for asylum seekers deemed “most in need of protection.” Christians fleeing Islamic State fighters are undoubtedly among those most in need.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.