21 Apr 2014

Australian churches critical of government's refugee strategy

12:28 pm on 21 April 2014

Prominent Australian church leaders have issued a joint Easter statement to condemn Australia's mandatory detention of asylum seeker children on Nauru.

The Anglican leaders, led by Adelaide Archbishop Jeffrey Driver, who is also the convener of the Anglican Refugee Network, says they wished to put on record their profound disquiet that there are 177 children in detention on Nauru, and a further 950 at facilities across Australia.

This is the latest in a series of Christian-based protests in recent weeks, with religious groups staging sit-in protests in the offices of the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

When asked about the protests by Fairfax media, Mr Morrison said that people were entitled to voice their opinions.

Last week, Mr Morrison desisted from shifting 26 babies born in Australia to asylum seeker parents over the Easter weekend to Canberra's Nauru or the Papua New Guinea detention centres.