Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan encouraged church members to take part in the rallies.
“As we approach Easter, we remember that Christ died for all people,” said Mr McMillan, “This message of love and hope is something we are called to share with one another.”
“People seeking asylum have fled war and experienced trauma. Many have survived a perilous journey to come here. They seek safety, freedom and a new beginning for their families. But sadly too many experience fear, stress, hardship and rejection because of Australian policies and attitudes.”
“We want to give refugees a reason to have hope. The Palm Sunday rallies are an opportunity to tell our politicians that we care about refugees. It is an opportunity to call for more humane and compassionate policies for people seeking asylum. We can do better.”
The Uniting Church has for many years called for fair and just treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum.
In particular, the Uniting Church has called for permanent protection for people found to be refugees, a fair, timely and transparent process for people seeking asylum and an end to offshore detention.
Rev. Dr Rod Pattenden from Adamstown Uniting Church will take part in the march being held in Newcastle.
He said: "Compassion is something you do with your feet, your hands and your heart.”
“Being at the Palm Sunday Refugee Rally gives me a chance to put my actions where my heart is. It’s time to act in compassion for those who have become the most marginalised and despised in our society.
“It’s an Easter action, compassion made present in our world.”
Palm Sunday rallies are held in every capital city and in some regional cities. Find your local march → https://goo.gl/7HzM4v