29 August 2021
‘This is who we are’: Australian church leaders demand Afghan refugee intake increase to 20,000
Christian leaders across Australia are calling on the federal government to increase the intake of Afghan refugees, as the UN warns up to half a million Afghans could flee their homeland by the end of the year.
Following a week of chaos that saw Australia’s evacuation mission from Afghanistan end, Christian leaders are urging the federal government to raise the humanitarian intake of Afghan refugees from 3,000 to 20,000.
The figure of 20,000 would match the refugee intakes of the UK and Canada, and comes as members of Australia’s Afghan community voice fears over the safety of loved ones.
The Christians United for Afghanistan campaign is calling for a special one-off refugee intake – outside of the existing humanitarian program – similar to that announced by the Abbott government in 2015 when 12,000 places were allocated for Syrian refugees.
Executive Director of Micah Australia Reverend Tim Costello told SBS News the call is being made following “unprecedented unity” among Christian groups.
“With the Australian evacuations now finished, there has been this moral nagging question: what’s our responsibility having been a participant in the military campaign for 20 years?”