Part of a series of nation-wide prayer vigils advocating for #KidsOffNaru hosted by Love Makes a Way, the Adelaide event was co-hosted by local organisation Justice for Refugees SA and focused on the need for adults to be removed from Nauru, as well as children.
Representatives of the Catholic Church were in the crowd, including Administrator Delegate Fr Philip Marshall and members of the Office for Renewing Parishes.
Reverend John Hughes, Minister in Placement at Brougham Place Uniting Church, attended the vigil with his young family and was proud that, despite the cool weather, many turned out to stand up for the ‘least of these’.
“It was really moving to see so many people come out. It was a chilly evening, but that didn’t stop people coming to pray for the children and to call on our Government to act with integrity and compassion,” he said.
“It was particularly fitting to gather beside the statue of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop playing with children.
“This highlighted our call to care for the children and dispossessed in our midst.”
Rev Hughes said it was important that Christians remember the call of Christ to be a compassionate and caring community, and that Christ particularly cared for the children and the least of these.
“It has become clear over the years that indefinite detention is detrimental to the health and well-being of the children and all people,” he said.
“It is unjust and inhumane for these people to continue to be held in such a way. It fails to honour their dignity and that they are made in the Image of God.”
As well as singing prayers of hope and salvation, attendees formed small prayer circles with those near them to reflect on the suffering of those in off-shore detention, and to pray intimately.
In a gesture of solidarity, organisers asked attendees to dip their fingers in water and run it down their faces to symbolise the tears for those on Nauru.
Rev Hughes shared that there are multiple ways everyday Australians can support those in offshore detention.
“People can continue to support efforts through prayer, through contacting their local federal MP urging immediate action, and as people begin to arrive, to greet them with open hands and hearts.”
For information on Justice for Refugees news and events, visit https://justiceforrefugeessa.org/ or see the Justice for Refugees SA Facebook page.
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