Strategy 4 was a call for Advocates with a suggested focus of sharing the Canberra Declaration with senior Australians. Today we are thrilled to release Strategy 5 which is to share the Canberra Declaration with ethnic Australian Christians. This was another one of the prize-winning suggestions of last year’s Double Our Numbers on-line survey.
Almost 1 in 4 Australians were born overseas. The Christian Research Association states that since 1971, many millions of those who came as immigrants to Australia have been Christian. Some denominations would hardly exist today without the enormous influx of members that immigration has brought.
The 2010 prayer guide Operation World states, for example, that there are up to 500,000 people living in Australia who are of Chinese ethnic background with about 20% of these being professing Christians. There are hundreds of Chinese congregations in Australia. Here is one of many in Sydney.
Theoretically we could get another 50,000 signatures from the Chinese Australian Christian community alone! Then there are the Koreans, the Burmese, the Vietnamese, the Indonesians, the Indians, the Sudanese, the Iranians, the Brazilians etc – all with significant numbers of Christians.
At the World Congress of Families in Sydney in May 2013, we met a young business man, Matt Attia, who helped us with the Canberra Declaration booth. It was thrilling to learn that when the Canberra Declaration began in 2010, he shared as an Advocate with the Egyptian Coptic Church in Australia of which he is a member. Through his networks he obtained approximately 2,000 signatures on hard copies of the Canberra Declaration. This shows the great potential for new signatures in ethnic churches in Australia.
For this reason we are in the process of translating the Canberra Declaration into different languages and, one by one, plan to add them to our website. Similar to the format of the invitation below (to Aussies who are ethnic Koreans), the English language words of the Canberra Declaration would be interspersed with the language of the ethnic group. We believe that having a translation, with English interspersed, will be an encouragement to many. Even if someone knows English, their mother language is often still very important to them. So it is a way of honouring them.
So far we have the invitation translated into Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Malaysian (listed in alphabetical order). These are now posted on the Canberra Declaration Facebook page ready to be shared with others. We also have the entire Canberra Declaration in Korean. You can find these on our new webpage. More will be posted as they are completed.
What can you do?
1. If you are an Aussie only speaking English.
We suggest you share about the Canberra Declaration with ethnic Christians that you know in your circles (in your street or community, at church or at work, in your interest groups etc).
Ask them to share with their friends and churches.
Check this website to see if there is a translation in the language they use. Download this and share it with them. We trust that the Canberra Declaration, with English interspersed, will be an encouragement to them.
2. If you are an Aussie also speaking another language.
Check this website to see if there is a translation of the invitation or the Canberra Declaration in your language.
If there is, share this with others in your language group, one-on-one or electronically to your networks.
Do this through Facebook, via email or by printing it as a hard copy to pass on.
Please let us know if you would be interested in translating the invitation and/or the Canberra Declaration into a particular language or know someone who might consider doing this. We welcome any language!
Over the past five years, it has been very noticeable that a high percentage of those who attend the National Days of Prayer & Fasting in Parliament House in Canberra have been ethnic Christians. Perhaps this is an indication of how much they cherish the freedoms and way of life we still enjoy in Australia and are willing to get involved to protect these.
We have come to the conclusion that ethnic Aussies are a key to the future of Christianity in Australia. From the 2011 census, it would appear that no Christian denomination is keeping up with normal population growth among the Australian-born population. Furthermore, most of those describing themselves in the 2011 census as ‘no religion’ are Australian-born. Thegrowth of this group from 15% of the population in 2001 to 23% in 2011 has been striking.
The apostle Paul writes that the Christian Church should have no barriers declaring that among believers “there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all”
Please pray that many signees will share the Canberra Declaration with ethnic Aussies in their street, community, church or other networks.
Please pray that many will volunteer to translate the short 284-word invitation and the one page 856-word Canberra Declaration into different languages.
Please pray that many ethnic Aussies will join the Canberra Declaration community and make a lasting difference to their adopted home. As the number of their signatures swell, our political leaders will see more clearly that Christian values are widely held in Australia.
Thank you! We would be very interested in any further thoughts on how we might reach our ethnic Australian brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yours for a growing multi-ethnic community of believers,
David and Marilyn Rowsome and Warwick Marsh
Sample Invitation to Ethnic Christians
그리스도 안에서 호주를 위해 한국인 형제자매들에게 요청하는 편지
Letter for Korean Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Australia
The Canberra Declaration
이 나라와 우리 자녀들의 미래를 위해서 호주에 있는 한국교회들에게 ‘캔버라 선언문’에 서명해주시길 간곡히 부탁드립니다.
For the future of this nation and all of our children, we humbly ask the Korean Christian community in Australia to sign the Canberra Declaration.
‘컨버라 선언문’은 기독교 신앙의 본질에 기초하여 ‘모든 사람은 하나님의 형상대로 지음 받았으며 그러므로 모두가 동등한 존엄과 가치를 지니고 있다’라는 기독교 가치관을 보호하는 운동입니다. 우리가 보호하려는 기독교 가치관은 종교의 자유, 결혼, 가족 그리고 생명의 존엄성을 포함합니다. 우리가 믿기로는 이러한 가치관이야말로 호주를 살기 좋은 곳으로 만든 기초이자 토대입니다. 하지만 안타깝게도 현재 많은 부분의 기독교 가치관들이 심각한 위협을 받고 있습니다.
The Canberra Declaration seeks to protect Christian values in Australia which are based on the Christian belief that every human person has been made in the image of God and therefore has equal dignity and worth. The Christian values we seek to protect include religious freedom, marriage and family and the sacredness of human life. These we believe are the foundations that have made Australia a wonderful place to live. But sadly many of these Christian values are now under serious threat.
많은 한국의 크리스찬들이 이곳 호주 땅에 와서 살게 된 것에 대해 하나님께 감사를 드립니다. 우리는 이것이 단순한 우연이 아니라 이 땅의 미래를 향한 하나님의 계획의 일부라는 것을 믿습니다.
We thank God for the many Korean Christians that have come to live in Australia. This, we believe, is not an accident but part of God’s plan for the future destiny of this nation.
여러분의 이름과 주소를 제공함으로써, 여러분들께서는 호주의 정치인들과 국민들에게 전달하는 우리의 목소리에 큰 힘을 보태시게 됩니다. 만약에 이메일 주소를 함께 알려주신다면, 호주 땅 가운데 하나님의 축복과 은총이 임하기 위하여 지속적인 격려와 기도제목들을 함께 나누겠습니다.
By simply providing your name and address you add strength to our voice to our political leaders and our fellow Australians. If you also provide your email address we would be very happy to provide you with on-going encouragements to pray and take action for God’s blessing and favour to rest on Australia.
올해와 내년의 기간 동안 ‘캔버라 선언문’에 호주에 있는 한국 크리스찬 형제 자매들이 서명자들로 참여하게 되어 서명운동이 배가되는 일을 보게 될 것을 기대하며 기쁨으로 여러분들을 이 운동에 초대합니다.
It is a joy to call upon brothers and sisters of the Korean Australian Christian community to help double our signatures from 50,000 to 100,000 over this next year.
하나님께 이 모든 일들을 감사 드리며, 여러분의 연락을 기다리겠습니다.
We thank God for you and look forward to hearing from you.
We thank God that since Strategy 4 the number of signatures on the counter has gone from 57,972 to 59,402. We are also receiving hard copies of Canberra Declaration with many signatures yet to be entered. We will soon break 60,000!