candles #lightthedark at vigil for refugees

Welcome More Refugees – Sydney Archbishop

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, Anthony Fisher, has called on the Australian government to welcome more refugees from Syria and Iraq who are from persecuted minorities. He commended the government’s announcement that it would increase the proportion of Australia’s refuge intake from Syria but said that “the overall refugee intake must be very substantially increased and that particular preference be given to persecuted Christians from Syria and Iraq and other religious minorities who have nowhere else to go … We should also keep in mind the minorities within the Muslim community in these countries who are persecuted by Islamists and other Muslims”.

Archbishop Fisher said that Australia’s response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis could not be left entirely to the government: “I am seeking a meeting with Syrian Catholic community leaders and the leaders of Church welfare agencies and parishes to discuss what might be done locally to provide housing in families, parishes and convents, and to provide welfare assistance, healthcare, employment services and friendship to traumatized newcomers from the Middle East.”

Archbishop Fisher’s call came as hundreds of Sydneysiders took to the street in candlelight vigils using the hashtag #lightthedark to demand that Australia do more for refugees.

Read Archbishop Fisher’s full statement here

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