Church Tries to Mitigate Tensions With Indigenous Community

March 4, 2004

Source: BBC News

On March 4, 2004 the BBC News reported, "The race riots in Australia's biggest city, Sydney, have focused attention on the role of the Church in helping to heal the country's fractured indigenous community. Dozens of police officers were injured in last month's confrontation in the inner-city district of Redfern. The violence was sparked by the death of an Aboriginal teenager, which is the subject of three investigations. It is estimated there are more than 80 religious groups, charities and government agencies working in Redfern...Christianity has been a major influence on indigenous culture since European colonisation more than 200 years ago. Missions were established across Australia by all denominations by the middle of the 19th century...the first Aboriginal member of the New South Wales state parliament, Linda Burney, believes Christianity has had a positive part to play in Redfern..."I think that in the last few weeks people of a Christian faith have had a very calming influence in Redfern,' she said."