Australia Remains Open to Christianity — Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

“What shall we make of the Census finding that 44% of Australians identify as ‘Christian’, with as many as 39% describing themselves as having no religion?

It is the first time in Census history that fewer than 50% of Australians align with a Christian denomination. What does it mean for Sydney Anglicans as we seek to commend the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to our friends and neighbours? …”

– Archbishop Kanishka writes to encourage you to keep on sharing the saving news of Jesus.

Should Church-run hospitals be forced to perform abortions?

“I’m beginning to think that when some people read ‘1984’ and ‘A Brave New World’, their impression is, what a great idea. Let’s model our society on ‘Oceania’ or ‘World State’!

There is a certain predictability about our political and social overlords: Christianity is bad, science is a subject in the Arts faculty, and conscience is only free for those who follow the right agenda. …”

– In this piece published last week, Murray Campbell in Melbourne responds to a move to force Church-based hospitals and health institutions to perform abortions.

He implores his readers, “please read the entire piece & not just one or two snippets. The whole argument matters, not just a quote or two.”

Darwin’s Garden of Eden

Here’s a recent addition to Nungalinya College in Darwin: The Garden of Eden Art trail tells the story of Creation and the Fall –

“The pathway through the garden depicts the greek letters Alpha and Omega. You might like to ponder … Revelation 21 as you enjoy your walk through the Garden of Eden.”

In the above video, College Principal Ben van Gelderen speaks about the garden at its opening in April 2022.

It’s a good reminder to pray for the students and staff of this unique college.

The Sermon that Exposed Australia

“It was an orthodox Christian sermon speaking about anxiety, trusting the Lord and God being with us in troubled times. As such you would not expect the Sydney Morning Herald to pay much attention to it.  Except in this instance, who delivered the sermon, and where it was delivered, made it worthy of headline news. …

The sermon from the former PM, or rather the reaction to it from the current PM, shows just how far down the rabbit role of irrationality Australian civic culture has already gone.”

– At AP (The Australian Presbyterian), David Robertson looks at the reaction to Scott Morrison’s sermon, and sees the need for a good old-fashioned Apology.

Also:

Hear for yourself what Scott Morrison says. The most ‘controversial’ section begins around 26 minutes.

2021 Census shows changes in Australia’s religious diversity

“The 2021 Census has revealed increasing diversity in the religions Australians identified, reflecting continuing changes in our social attitudes and belief systems.

Christianity is the most common religion in Australia, with over 40 per cent (43.9 per cent) identifying as Christian. This has reduced from over 50 per cent (52.1 per cent) in 2016 and from over 60 per cent (61.1 per cent) in 2011. As in earlier Censuses, the largest Christian denominations are Catholic (20.0 per cent of the population) and Anglican (9.8 per cent). …”

The latest media release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reminds us that there is plenty of scope to share the saving message of Jesus Christ.

ACT Discrimination Law Reforms Narrow Religious Freedom

“The Australian Capital Territory government has released an Exposure Draft of a Bill to amend that jurisdiction’s Discrimination Act 1991 (“DA”). They have invited public comment by 1 July 2022.

As key protections for religious freedom in Australia are often found in “balancing clauses” in discrimination legislation, it is always worth keeping an eye on reforms to these laws.

Sadly, these proposed reforms will significantly narrow religious freedom protections in the ACT. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster takes a look at proposed law reforms in the ACT.

Religious Freedom Challenges for Theological Colleges in Australia

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia:

“I am presenting a paper to a seminar for senior leaders in Australian theological colleges, dealing with religious freedom challenges.

I comment briefly on some of the current protections provided, but also how those protections have been eroded recently, especially in Victoria (where amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) which I previously commented on have now commenced.)

A copy of the paper can be downloaded here.”

(Image: Diocese of Sydney.)

Honoured for fostering love

“North Shore couple Carolyn and David Stedman, who have fostered 74 children, are among several Sydney Anglicans honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours…”

– SydneyAnglicans.net has the story.

Image: Seven’s Sunrise via Anglican Media Sydney.

Quiz Worx would be glad of your support

Quiz Worx is running their 2022 End-of-Financial-Year Appeal – to help them share Jesus with kids everywhere – using puppetry, music, drama, stories and fun. They have been such a blessing to so many.

See their website to learn more of what Quiz Worx does.

Click the image above for a larger version.

Download their appeal video from this link.

A message for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

The Rev. Michael Duckett, who leads Macarthur Indigenous Church, has shared a prayer and video message for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week.

The video could be downloaded for use in church.

“As God’s people, and as his church, we have the responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation. So I want to encourage us … that we would be bringing the true message of reconciliation to this country.”

Read and watch at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Unborn babies have taken another battering in Victoria today

Here’s a media release from The Australian Christian Lobby, 24 May 2022 –

“Commenting on Bernie Finn’s expulsion from the Victorian Liberal Party today, the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) National Director, Wendy Francis, said,

“Abortions are only going to increase whilst pro-life speech is regarded as disrespectful, particularly when it applies to politicians who have the capacity to vote and change laws on life issues. Media reports indicate that Bernie Finn’s commitment to ‘pray for an end to abortion’ was the final straw for the Party who voted to expel him from their ranks today.”

Whilst, sadly, pro-life speech such as this will always sound disrespectful to those that don’t want to hear it, advocating for the child in the womb is perfectly respectful. It’s encouraging to witness  a new, young, pro-life generation rising up around the globe.

“The Liberal Party of Victoria has seriously underestimated the impact this move has had on their pro-life conservative base,” Ms Francis continued. “It will be a tough journey for them to regain their confidence in the leadup to the State election in November.

“Freedom of thought, worship, speech and association are basic tenets of the Liberal Party of Australia. And yet, today, a democratically elected member has been expelled from the Liberal Party of Victoria for exercising these very rights.”

Election survey probes parties on faith freedom

“A survey of political parties and candidates on their attitude to religious discrimination has revealed varying levels of support – and in some cases, no support – for measures to ensure religious freedom. …”

Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net writes about the religiousdiscriminationsurvey.au website.

Related:

The Australian Christian Lobby (not associated with the Anglican Church League – we just have the same initials) has produced a page of “various documents and videos to help you make an informed choice on Election Day”, including this page where they share the answers given to their questionnaire in each electorate as well as each candidate for the Senate.

And not forgetting the call to pray –

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-6.

Freedom22 – National Conference 2022

It’s just a week to the Freedom for Faith: Freedom22 Conference in Parramatta:

“Religious Freedom in Australia has reached a crisis point.

The promised protections in the Federal Religious Discrimination Bill have been put on hold, and new State laws have removed several religious freedom rights from faith communities.

These new issues include unprecedented intrusions into prayer, unsympathetic treatment of conscience exemptions, reduced employment rights for religious schools, and a troubling surge in discrimination cases against Jewish, Muslim and other minority faith groups.

Will there be room for authentic expression of faith in Australia’s future?

Register for the Freedom22 National Conference on May 3 at Parramatta’s Park Royal Hotel to hear our distinguished speakers explain the content and consequences of these laws, as well as how we arrived at this cultural moment.

The Freedom22 speakers are:

Book via the Freedom for Faith website.

ePetition: “Please unanimously reject the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021”

In order to oppose and stop the passage of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 through the NSW Legislative Council, an ePetition has now been launched.

The text reads:.

“To the President and Members of the Legislative Council, the petitioners of New South Wales state that that they are completely opposed to the passage of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021, in any form, which provides for state sanctioned/funded assisted suicide/euthanasia.

A cornerstone of our legal system is that ALL human life has inherent value and must be treated with dignity and respect. The petitioners request that the House unanimously oppose the bill, in any form, and reject it.”

The ePetition can be accessed via the Legislative Council’s ePetitions page.

Those signing the ePetition need to declare that they are a resident of New South Wales.

The ePetition closes on 25th April 2022

Related:

Kevin Conolly, MP for Riverstone, explains the NSW euthanasia bill – AP.

Kevin Conolly explains the NSW euthanasia bill – part 2.

GAFCON Australasia Conference 2022 set for August

The GAFCON Australasia 2022 Conference is planned for 15-18 August.

See the website for details and booking.

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