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Australian Church leaders rue new rules for processing asylum-seekers

Catholic World News - September 03, 2012

Christian leaders in Australia have expressed severe misgivings about legislation that will allow for indefinite detention of refugees seeking asylum.

A statement issued jointly by Catholic, Anglican, and other Protestant leaders welcomed the government’s decision to raise the quota for foreigners allowed into Australia for humanitarian reasons. However the statement decried the provisions for offshore processing of refugees who have reached Australia, saying that asylum-seekers could “suffer adverse mental health consequences and to experience other detrimental impacts as a result of this legislation.”

Citing the Scriptural admonition to “welcome the stranger,” the Church leaders call for “accommodating and processing in Australia asylum seekers who reach Australian territory.”

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