This Community In Western Australia Wants To Ban Christians From Entering Their Lands, And Says ‘No’ To Conversion

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 22, 2020 05:12 PM +05:30 IST
This Community In Western Australia Wants To Ban Christians From Entering Their Lands, And Says ‘No’ To ConversionAborigines in Australia (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Aboriginal elders have launched a movement of sorts in remote Western Australia (WA) against people of a particular religious group.

Senior members of the community want to keep Christians out of their region to protect the indigenous community and its values. So much so, they want a ban on Christians from entering the region.

The elder members reached out to WA’s discrimination watchdog and asked it if they would be able to say ‘no’ and disallow the unidentified Christian group from their mixing in their community.

As per the watchdog, they do have a chance to say ‘no’.

According to a report in the Mail Online, members of the indigenous community have stated that attempts are being made to convert them to Christianity and there are efforts to wean them away from their traditional culture.

According to the report, Christian organisations ‘are known to visit remote communities across the state...’. These include groups such as Kingdom Aviation Ministries and Chariots of Fire Ministries.

The report mentions that the members of the group Kingdom Aviation Ministries fly every week to expand their outreach. The website of this group, as per the report, says that “Many areas within Western Australia are very remote and have no viable witness to Christ.”

The report quotes the same website as saying: “Since the progressive withdrawal of Christian missions there is a whole generation that has never heard the gospel.”

Daily Mail Australia, however, mentions in its report that it does not suggest that Kingdom Aviation Ministries or Chariots of Fire Ministries ‘are the groups the elders wish to ban.’

Interestingly, the headline of this report calls this a ‘radical step’. It reads: “Western Australian community takes radical step to stop God botherers from trying to convert them to Christianity.”

The report mentions Equal Opportunity Commissioner of WA John Byrne as saying that the elders would succeed ‘as the ground of religious conviction does not apply to places.’

He is quoted as saying: “Basically controlling your community is important to preserve your culture against the various types of threats.”

The report adds: “Equal Opportunity Commissioner of WA John Byrne said the religious group most likely wouldn't be able to lodge a complaint if they were to be banished.”

According to Byrne who spoke to another Australian publication, The Western Australian, members of the Aboriginal communities should be able to say ‘who comes on their land.’ They can refuse. “That's not a ground (for discrimination) under the act,” he added.

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