MEDIA RELEASE



13 August 2014

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement today that it will offer asylum to 4000 people from the crisis in Syria and Iraq.



“The Government is responding with compassion in the midst of unspeakable barbarity,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.



Mr Shelton noted that the 4000 places were within the current 13,700 annual humanitarian intake and hoped the Government would continue to monitor the situation and assess Australia’s capacity to do more.



“Sadly this crisis does not look like ending anytime soon. I am sure the government will keep the humanitarian situation under review.



“We are a generous nation and while 13,700 refugees is high on a per capita basis by world standards, this only scratches the surface of the need.”



Hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities had been driven from their homes by terrorist Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.



“We are living in extraordinary times and extraordinary generosity will be required before this crisis is resolved,” Mr Shelton said.



ACL two weeks ago set up an online petition at refugees.acl.org.au calling on the government to increase the humanitarian intake to assist those being persecuted. So far more than 17,000 people have signed.



“Australian Christians have expressed a strong desire to see our nation do more,” Mr Shelton said.