LCA Acting Bishop Andrew Pfeiffer has called on congregations and individual members to pray for everyone involved in the revision, debate and voting on the Religious Discrimination Bill, a draft of which was released by federal Attorney General Christian Porter on 29 August.
In a pastoral message to the church this afternoon, Dr Pfeiffer said that the draft bill seeks to prevent attempts to shut down religious teaching by clarifying that a statement of belief made in good faith is not in itself discriminatory.
‘It confirms the right of people of faith to express their convictions and practise their faith without fear of discrimination in the community, and that institutions and agencies of the church can promote the beliefs and values they see as foundational’, Dr Pfeiffer said.
At the same time he acknowledged the complexity of drafting a bill such as this, and noted the blessing of Christian legal experts ‘who dedicate themselves to carefully weighing up rival claims of rights and achieving the fairest and wisest possible legislation’.
The LCA contributed submissions on this issue to a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry in 2017 and the Ruddock Review of freedom of religion in Australia in 2018.
Dr Pfeiffer encourages congregations and members to pray specifically about the draft bill and its implications for Australian citizens as it is reviewed and revised over the coming months before being introduced in the federal parliament for debate and vote. Suggested prayer points are included in his pastoral message.
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