Australia’s PM Praised Chin Christians for Community Cohesion
28 November 2012 – Melbourne: Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressed appreciation and support in her letter for community-based activities by Chin Christians resettled in Australia.
In the letter sent to the Chin Christian Council in Australia (CCCA) on the occasion of their first General Assembly, the Australian PM said the Chin community has built strong and lasting foundations since their arrival in the country.
The letter read at the event on her behalf by MP Laura Smith praised the Chin community for making a considerable contribution to Australia’s way of life by upholding principles of tolerance, mutual respect and a fair go for all.
“May all of us from different backgrounds and faiths continue to work together to build a vibrant diverse society where everyone is free to express our culture and religion under the protective umbrella of our shared Australian value,” added the Prime Minister.
The Chin Christian event was attended by MP Laura Smith, member of the Australian Parliament for La Trobe; MP Brad Battin, member of the Victoria State Parliament for Gembrook; Rev. Keith Jobberns, National Ministries Director of Baptist Union of Australia; and Mr. Chan Tan, chairperson of Victorian Multicultural Commission.
CCCA’s first General Assembly, which started on 23 November, came to a successful end in Melbourne last Sunday, with about 800 participants from a total of 19 different Chin Churches based in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.
“This is the first time delegates from Chin Churches across Australia came together to worship God and to work together,” said Rev. Dr. Dennis Shu Maung, President of the Chin Christian Council in Australia (CCCA), established in October 2011.
During the three-day conference, the Chin delegates not only discussed ways to strengthen networking among CCCA members as well as with other organizations, but also formed a constitution drafting committee, which is comprised of 10 members.
While acknowledging difficulties, Rev. Japheth Lian, General Secretary of CCCA, said: “Overall, I think participants as well as persons in charge of the program would be very pleased with what have been accomplished out of it.”
The next CCCA general assembly is expected to be held in 2015.
Australia is home to over an estimated 5,000 Chins with more than 45 churches, mostly resettled as refugees under the UNHCR program from Malaysia and India after having fled their native Chin State in Burma.
Reporting by Lian Ding Hmung