Exiled Christians in Australia Celebrated Christmas With Refugees From Different Countries

ADHRRF – On December 23, 2017, an organization in Melbourne named Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees (RISE) held an activity to celebrate the coming Christmas. Christians of The Church of Almighty God in Australia, together with asylum seekers and refugees from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam and so on, were invited to attend the celebration.

RISE is the first organization in Australia operated and managed by refugees, asylum seekers and former imprisoned persons. The staff said this activity is organized every year to gather together refugees and asylum seekers from different countries so that they can share their experiences, exchange ideas, and get help to better integrate locally.

On the day of the celebration, Christians of The Church of Almighty God arrived at the place ahead of time and helped the staff decorate the room and set up the equipment for playing videos. After the celebration officially started at 5 p.m., they played some dance and song videos and hymn MVs of The Church of Almighty God, which greatly livened up the atmosphere.

Refugees from Sri Lanka prepared many delicious food. After dinner, the refugees and asylum seekers communicated with each other. They talked about the persecution they suffered in the country of origin and their experiences of seeking asylum in Australia. Christians of The Church of Almighty God also told about their experiences of being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government because of their faith in God.

One Christian said the CCP government declares to the world that people enjoy freedom of religious belief in China, but in fact China has no freedom of belief. The government not only has forcibly demolished the cross, trying to destroy the churches, but also has been persecuting Christians cruelly. Many Christians are forced to flee the country, but those who have made it are only a minority. Subsequently, she played the videos of “Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China—Who Is the Culprit?” and “Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China—The Dark Hour Before the Dawn.” While watching them, people present were surprised and angry at the CCP’s persecution of Christians. They strongly condemned its actions and showed deep sympathy for the persecuted Christians.

An asylum seeker from Pakistan watched the videos with tears streaming down his face. He said he had the same experience as those Christians and mentioned that he had been in frequent contact with Chinese in Pakistan so he knew something about the persecution of Christians in China. However, he pointed out that 95% of Pakistanis still consider China a very friendly country and they do not know the real situation of Christians in China.

After watching the videos, a volunteer from Vietnam said in a heavy tone, “To be honest, I have never heard of these persecutions of Chinese Christians before and I feel very sad….”

Another Christian said, “The CCP has covered up the truth. When we fled to Australia, it still tries to get us sent back to China by various means, because they fear that the world will know the truth of its persecution of Christians. These two movies just tell us two individual cases. At present, a great many Christians in mainland China have been arrested and imprisoned by CCP, and their life are still at stake.”

People present encouraged the Christians from The Church of Almighty God to hold hope and pray to God. They said all these sufferings will pass and showed care about their current living conditions. The staff also said they will remain concerned about them and help them integrate into the local community.

The group photo of the participants (Photo: Ding Wei)
Christians of The Church of Almighty God are communicating with participants. (Photo: Ding Wei)