Whether or not you are for or against Alpha course or not, is irrelevant. We need your urgent prayers down here.
Source [url="http://www.saltshakers.org.au/html/P/10/B/310/"]Salt Shakers[/url], a Australian based Christian Ethics Action group.[b][u]Religious vilification complaint against Alpha course[/u][/b][i]The latest complaint of 'religious vilification' in Victoria will send shock waves throughout the entire Christian community. A paedophile prison inmate has called for ALPHA courses to be closed down in Victoria under Victoria's Racial & Religious Tolerance Act.[/i][b]Evangelism Banned?[/b] Alpha is one of the main evangelistic programs, used by most denominations, across Australia. A directions hearing was held this morning (21 April 2005) at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Melbourne. (VCAT) Today's VCAT law list notice - [b]"ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LIST - Directions Hearing Before Deputy President A. Coghlan at 10:00 AM"[/b]The complaint, made by Robin Fletcher, is in relation to an [b]Alpha course run by the Salvation Army[/b] in Ararat jail. Fletcher is a self confessed witch and is currently in Ararat prison, having been convicted of sexual abuse against two teenage girls in 1998. He was jailed for 10 years.Fletcher lodged complaints against the [b]Salvation Army[/b] (because it was a Salvation Army chaplain who ran the course); [b]Corrections Victoria[/b] (the Victorian government section of the Justice Department that runs the prison system) and [b]CMC Australasia P/L[/b] (the distributors of the Alpha program materials in Victoria). [b]Fletcher is complaining about references to witchcraft in the Alpha course videos and manuals.In his EOC complaint he called for ALPHA courses to be stopped throughout Victoria "until suitable modifications can be made to bring it into conformity with the law in Victoria."[/b]Clearly he wants all references to witchcraft and the occult removed BUT this would entail changing the BIBLE because all references used are Scriptural.The Equal Opportunity Commission declined to entertain the complaint. However, Fletcher asked that the complaint be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, hence today's hearing.The VCAT Deputy President gave Fletcher three weeks to lodge his formal complaint to VCAT. A timetable was set down for responses from the other parties.[b]Robin Fletcher stated in his letter to Corrections Victoria[/b]"The first program I wish to complain about is the Alpha program. I consider that this program is in violation of the Equal Opportunity ACT Vic. and also of the Religious Tolerance ACT Vic. I ask that you ban the ALPHA program in all prisons in Victoria until this matter is resolved....""I am further asking for the discontinuation of the Alpha program because it constitutes a personal danger to my health and safety within the prison system.In this case, because the matter is a serious one involving potential of physical harm to myself and others you may be vicariously in breach of the 'serious violations section' of the Religious Tolerance ACT.'We will be distributing more information on this case as soon as possible. We accessed the files at VCAT to obtain the above information on the complaint.Author: [url="http://www.saltshakers.org.au/html/P/71/B/73/"]Jenny Stokes[/url] | Modified: 22 April 2005
Just for a bit of background, Victoria is the only state in Australia with Anti-Religious Vilification Laws. The first case to be tried was against Australian evangelist Danny Nalliah by the Islamic Council of Victoria. The case was based on lectures given by himself and Daniel Scot, on the militant nature of Islam. The lectures were given just days after Sept 11 2001. The case was lost and penalty hearing is scheduled for May 2 2005.On a personal note, I was summoned to serve for jury duty on the day on the current trial, only to have it postponed for a day. This worked out well for me, as it gave me opportunity to attend the final day of Art Katz's Melbourne School, where he preached on "God been restricted in human form, as an expression of His infinitness" and "Coming Persecution of the Church", on the day of the trial.Lord help us.
Actually Queensland and tasmania now have similar legislation... NSW and Western Australia (where I am) have rejected it and I understand that South Australia is 'still deciding'...