Palm Sunday Walk encourages compassion for refugees | The Record

Carol Mitchell, Director of the Archdiocese of Perth’s Justice, Ecology and Development Office (JEDO) with Caritas Australia WA/NT Justice Educator Anita Finneran and Caritas Australia Community Participation Leader Deacon Paul Reid at the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees. Photo: Caroline Smith

 

By Caroline Smith 

Jesus’ message of compassion and welcoming was brought to the forefront at the recent Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees, where nearly 1000 people came out to support people seeking asylum in Australia and around the world.

The annual event was held at St George’s Cathedral on Sunday 9 April and was organised by several Christian faith groups and various agencies including the Archdiocese of Perth’s Justice, Ecology and Development Office (JEDO).

Around 1000 people turned out for the annual event which focused on supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and worldwide. Photo: Caroline Smith

Around 1000 people turned out for the annual event which focused on supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and worldwide. Photo: Caroline Smith

 

 

 

Other Catholic supporters of the event included Caritas Australia, MercyCare, St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Mission, the Presentation Sisters of Western Australia and Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA).

The event began with speeches from Anglican Rector Rev Chris Bedding and Iranian refugee Arad Nik, who presented his poetry reflecting on experiences of fleeing his homeland.

Refugee voices were also represented through a letter written by Walid Zazai, an asylum seeker currently detained on Manus Island.

JEDO Director, Carol Mitchell said the Palm Sunday Walk was an important event in the agency’s calendar.

Iranian refugee and poet, Arad Nik speaking at the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees, held at St George’s (Anglican) Cathedral. Photo: Caroline Smith

Iranian refugee and poet, Arad Nik speaking at the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees, held at St George’s (Anglican) Cathedral. Photo: Caroline Smith

 

 

 

“It’s a time when we can walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who had to seek refuge, safety or asylum due to dire circumstances in their home country,” she said.

“It’s a time when we can give hope to those in detention on Manus Island and Nauru, to let them know they are not forgotten and that they matter to us.

“That we will continue to keep them in our minds, hearts and our actions.”

“In particular, opening people’s hearts to refugees and others in difficult circumstances was a way of connecting to the teachings of Jesus,” she added…

 

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