Media Release

Israel Folau Ruling an Attack on Religious Freedom

The Australian Christian Lobby today expressed disappointment with Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate Israel Folau’s contract.

“The decision to fire Israel Folau for posting a paraphrased bible verse is madness,” commented ACL’s managing director Martyn Iles. 

“ACL has been consistently warning that religious freedom in Australia is under threat and this latest development makes our concerns abundantly clear.” 

“Today’s announcement by Rugby Australia not only marginalises and silences a large portion of Australians who hold to the same belief as Folau, but all Christian rugby players are now being told their beliefs are incompatible with the sport they play.” 

“Israel Folau’s conduct amounts to mere speech – he has done nothing criminal, he has not publicly disgraced himself, and he has not mistreated anyone. Rugby Australia’s penalty is high handed, inconsistent, and anti-Christian.” 

Mr Iles is concerned that this decision unfairly targets Christians and could be just the first of many such cases.  

“Australians should be confident and know they are free to express their beliefs which form part of their identity without fear of being unfairly censored or discriminated against.”  

The Australian Christian Lobby launched an open letter to Israel Folau on Thursday, May 9 which has already received almost 30,000 signatures from people supporting him. 

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