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Quakers in Australia

Sanctuary for asylum seekers

Sanctuary for asylum seekers

Five Quaker Meeting Houses -- in Canberra, Sydney and Perth -- have agreed to offer Sanctuary for the 267 asylum seekers who have been brought to Australia for medical treatment and are about to be returned to Nauru. The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce advises that there are now 6 cathedrals and 44 churches from 9 denominations, across 8 states and territories who have formally offered sanctuary and many more who are working through their logistics.

Kay de Vogel, clerk of Canberra Quakers, said her group were distressed about the plight of the asylum seekers. "We all agreed that we would offer our meeting house as a place of sanctuary ... it is not large, and we will offer help to the extent that we are able," she said.
"We certainly couldn't take all the asylum seekers, but we could take some." Ms de Vogel said her Meeting was aware that churches cannot legally offer sanctuary in Australia, but Quakers had never been afraid to break the law for something they believed in.

"What the Government wants to do in sending these people back just goes against everything we stand for," Kay de Vogel spoke to the media yesterday. This is what she said.....

AYM Clerk Julian Robertson sent a Letter to the Prime Minster and Minister for Foreign Affairs protesting against our present processing of asylum seekers.

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