Media Release

Senators’ scramble to save Christmas cheer is most welcome

The Australian Christian Lobby commends a group of senators led by Queensland senator Matt Canavan urging governments to allow churches to host more people for Christmas gatherings.

“Senator Canavan is right,” ACL managing director Martyn Iles said, “It beggars belief that sporting events can host thousands of people, but a large church can not open for a Christmas service hosting hundreds of people.”

“Why would Queensland Premier Palaszczuk be in a rush to ensure Suncorp Stadium was full to cheer the Maroons on to State of Origin victory, but not equally be in a rush to ensure Queenslanders can celebrate a traditional Christmas? If singing is a concern, why is cheering a team at the top of your voice at the football any different to singing ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’?”

“This discrimination against Christians across the nation has been sadly consistent and profoundly disappointing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Churches have played second fiddle to elite sports and licensed venues time and again, when they are just as willing and capable to be COVID-safe.

“The ACL thanks senators Canavan, Antic, Stoker, McKenzie, Fierrevanti-Wells, Van, McDonald, Abetz, McGrath, McMahon, Molan, Paterson, Davey, Scarr, O’Sullivan, Askew, Rennick and Small for co-signing and supporting the Senate motion that passed last night.

“Our Christmas wish for 2021 is that federal parliament passes meaningful religious discrimination reform so that the treatment of people of any faith as second-class citizens never happens again.

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