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Thursday, 23 January 2003

Sending troops is Government's own 'pre-emptive strike' - move condemnded by UCA President

The National President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev. Professor James Haire, today condemned the Australian Government for its “own pre-emptive strike” by sending troops the Middle East.

“This move pre-empts the Australian people, the Australian Parliament and the United Nations,” Professor Haire said.

“It is a move that takes us further from peace and closer to war.

“The Australian people have not been consulted nor has our Parliament had a chance to debate the issue. The UN Security Council has not yet reported and nothing new has occurred for Australia to ratchet up its military response.

“The Christian message is one of peace and human dignity for all. Jesus urged us to be peacemakers.

“Peace-making is hard work and not for the impatient, but the alternatives being offered to us at the moment will only lead to despair, hatred, fear and death.”

“Another war lead by the so-called ‘Christian West’ will only add a new layer of enmity in the Middle East producing another 50 years of instability and death.

“In the meantime the Uniting Church will pray for the safety of our troops, including our defence force chaplains. And we will pray for peace.”


Media Contact: Kim Cain, Media Liaison 0419 373 123
James Haire is available for media interviews