Signifying the importance of the moment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison today tabled the government’s promised Religious Discrimination Bill.Read more
The Government’s long-awaited Religious Discrimination Bill is a constructive and helpful reform, requiring further improvement.Read more
Next week, the federal government is expected to introduce a long-awaited religious discrimination bill that will make it unlawful to discriminate against religious Australians. The largely unremarkable bill will extend protection to religious belief that other attributes such as sex, race and sexuality have enjoyed for many decades.Read more
The Victorian Christian community welcomes the Premier’s announcement easing restrictions for churches. For the first time in more than 6 months, Christians can begin to return to worship services in metropolitan and regional Victoria.Read more
Churches are not being treated fairly in Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown.
In regional Victoria, churches must meet outdoors in groups up to 20, whilst people can wine and dine indoors in pubs and restaurants, without masks, in groups of 40, or outdoors in groups of 70.
This unfair and illogical treatment will be extended to Melbourne from midnight on 1 November.
It is despite nearly 300 church leaders and 10,000 Victorians asking the Premier for equal consideration.
It is despite churches being model citizens in recent months, working patiently and cooperatively with the government, complying with all COVID-Safe measures and the DHHS guidelines.
We know how many are struggling after prolonged isolation with loneliness and mental health issues. We know many need spiritual nourishment and fellowship. We also know that God’s interest ought to be first in line. We don’t ask this for ourselves so much as for God and our neighbours.
Another, stronger outpouring of concern is needed on this important matter.
Therefore, I’m encouraging you to take action today.
Please sign the petition to urge Premier Daniel Andrews to treat churches fairly, allowing churches to open for indoor worship in parity with the hospitality sectors.
Please read the letter below and sign. You'll notice that we've asked for your address. This is to validate you're a Victorian so that your voice counts!
The Hon Daniel Andrews
Premier of Victoria
1 Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002
Dear Premier Daniel Andrews,
As people of faith from Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, we are writing to express our concern that churches be treated equitably in the “roadmap” out of lockdown.
Churches in regional Victoria must meet outdoors in groups up to 20, whilst people can wine and dine indoors in pubs and restaurants, without masks, in groups of 40, or outdoors in groups of 70.
This unfair treatment will be extended to Melbourne from midnight on 1 November.
With our support, our churches have been working patiently and cooperatively with the government, complying with all COVID-Safe measures and the DHHS guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic.
With spacious buildings, COVID-Safe plans, and time limited services, our churches are safer places for people to gather than many other venues.
Therefore, we cordially urge you…
1. To allow churches to open for indoor church services
2. To give churches equal and fair treatment in each of the subsequent steps in the “roadmap” out of lockdown
We make this request on behalf of our wider communities. Many of us are lonely, isolated, facing mental health challenges, and aware of our need for spiritual nourishment. With a spike in health issues around these matters and more, we feel a special urgency to safely open our churches for the good of Victorians.
As Premier, you are continually in our prayers, and we look forward to your plan to work out a safe and fair solution for people of faith and the communities they serve at this challenging time.
The following opinion piece was published in 'The West Australian' on 25/6/20:
Yes, Brian Greig, Australians won’t cop discrimination on the basis of sexuality. (Australians won’t cop discrimination on basis of sexuality, 16/06/2020). But they won’t cop it on the basis of beliefs either.Read more
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the appointment of an NSW Parliamentary Joint Select Committee to investigate Mark Latham MLC’s excellent religious freedom bill - the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020.Read more
The upcoming 4 July by-election in the Federal seat of Eden-Monaro is of national significance for people of faith across the nation.
With Labor yet to take a position on Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill, a Liberal victory in the seat would provide more certainty for the passage of the legislation, which seeks to ensure religious freedom is protected for all Australians.Read more
While most of the world has been occupied with coronavirus, I have learned, yet again, that effective activism never sleeps.