The Service was hosted by the NSW Ecumenical Council and the Pitt Street Uniting Church on Thursday 10 October 2019. The main reason for gathering at this time is to encourage the Australian Government to bring the Tamil family on Christmas Island back to a community setting while their court process continues – the next hearing date may not be until early 2020, and the family are in poor health, in need of medical care which is not available on Christmas Island.
Many of Australia’s varied faith traditions participated, including representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim traditions, along with Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Quaker (Society of Friends) and Uniting Church participants.
Rebecca Bishop, one of the small organising committee, said “hearing the prayers from the Hindu and Islam leaders was like being in a place of worship of those faiths – it shows our society’s richness, strength and unity-in-diversity.”
The Service is part of a campaign by a group of NSW justice and peace organisations to bring the Tamil family who are on Christmas Island back to the Australian mainland. Fr Claude Mostowik msc, President of Pax Christi Australia said, ‘This is a clear example of where we must listen to Jesus. His teaching: ‘let the little children come unto me’ compels us to show compassion to Kopika and Tharunicaa’.
Source: NSW Ecumenical Council