Christians called to lobby in Canberra for world's poor

Tim Costello calls Christians to attend Voices for Justice lobbying event

Hundreds of Christians will gather in Canberra from 1 to 4 December for Voices for Justice, a campaigning event and conference which sees Christians receive training in political advocacy over two days, followed by two days of lobbying in Parliament House.

“Never before has there been a more crucial time for the body of Christ to stand as one and speak up for justice,” said Tim Costello, executive director of the Micah Australia coalition of churches and Christian organisations.

“I strongly believe we are at a crossroads as a nation: will we continue to follow the current trend of turning inwards, or will we heed the words of Jesus and love our neighbour, reaching beyond our own comforts and fears?

“I am personally inviting every Christian to make their way to Canberra this December so that together, we can raise a unified voice to our nation’s leaders on behalf of the world’s poor.”

In the 2018 budget, the federal government made its fifth consecutive cut to the Australian aid budget, putting it at its lowest level in Australia’s history.

“On the back of five successive cuts to aid, and the current political climate of fear and nationalism we find ourselves in, the importance of Christians speaking up on behalf of justice, humility and mercy cannot be overstated,” said Matt Darvas, Micah’s campaign director.

“Voices for Justice is an unrivalled opportunity for every Christian who has a heart for justice: you’ll gain a deeper understanding of biblical justice, while also receiving practical training to advocate in the political space.

“The event will be more than a powerful one-off conference and lobbying event. It will also equip Christians with new tools, strategies and networks for ongoing campaigning and connecting in their local churches and communities.”

Campaigners will meet with politicians to urge them to elevate Australia’s contribution to a world free from poverty, with a focus on a generous and effective aid program.

The Revd Adam Taylor, executive director of American Christian social justice organisation Sojourners, will be the main guest speaker at the conference. Revd Taylor was previously head of the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group and served as vice president of advocacy at World Vision U.S.