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Today Sandie Cornish, National Executive Officer, of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, announced the publication of an action leaflet titled Ten Steps Towards Welcoming Asylum Seekers and an accompanying prayer card.

It calls on the Catholic community to see the face of Jesus in those seeking asylum.

“As we begin the month of August, we remember the acceptance into Australia of the first Indochinese refugees in 1965.  At that time the Australian community recognized its responsibility to welcome neighbors in need of asylum.  It was an important step away from the White Australia policy that had distorted our community’s expression of hospitality and damaged our reputation internationally”, she said.

“As Christians we believe that we are all brothers and sisters and that we have a responsibility for one another.  We have a special duty to extend hospitality to those in need or danger.  We remember too that Jesus himself was forced to flee his country of birth and to seek asylum elsewhere.  Jesus was an asylum seeker and he continues to be present to us in the people seeking asylum in Australia today”, she continued.

“This action leaflet, Ten Steps Towards Welcoming Asylum Seekers, provides ideas for simple actions that any individual or small group can take to welcome asylum seekers in Australia.  Ten Steps Towards Welcoming Asylum Seekers is an initiative of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and was produced in collaboration with the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office”, she concluded.

The action leaflet Ten Steps Towards Welcoming Asylum Seekers and accompanying Prayer Card are available from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council here.

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