#1168 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 December 2015
Christian faith-based organisations tackling drug addiction are suffering “official discrimination” and failing to attract government funding because their drug rehabilitation programs are based on Christian principles.
Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie said this week that the not-for-profit, Teen Challenge, was told if they became “less Christian” they would get more funding. Senator Lambie said
groups like Teen Challenge, one of Australia’s most successful organisations delivering ice rehab treatment, with a success rate of over 80 per cent, present in 100 countries and with 1200 centres world-wide, feel as though they are being denied government support and funding because they base their rehab program on the Christian faith.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $300 million of funding to tackle the “ice epidemic” earlier this month, saying most of the money would be directed towards grassroots organisations running treatment and prevention programs.
Commitment to a particular faith should not be grounds for excluding reputable organisations from access to such funding.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.