As the executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran edge closer a broad range of individuals and advocacy groups continue to condemn the pair’s fate and use of the death penalty.
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, recently ordained as a Christian minister, have both indicted thankfulness for prayer. However their request for spiritual advisers to be with them in their final hours has been refused by Indonesian authorities.
The Uniting Church is continuing its involvement supporting advocacy, vigils and calls for prayer.
Uniting Church President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney was one of 14 organisational leaders who wrote to both the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia and to the Australian Foreign Minister last February, expressing grave concerns for at least 11 people facing imminent execution.
“The Uniting Church in Australia opposes capital punishment and stands against the death penalty, be it in Indonesia, the United States, China or wherever it exists,” Prof Dutney said.
“We understand that countries have their own laws and their sovereignty needs to be respected.
“However as Christians we believe that people can repent and know redemption in their life.
“Taking life by definition denies them that opportunity.
“Jesus calls Christians to love our enemies, telling his followers to be merciful, just as God is merciful.”
Church members interested in advocacy on this issue are urged to join Amnesty International’s Vigils for Hope taking place around the country and share photos on twitter and Facebook pages.
Jesuit Social Services are also holding a vigil in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and their companions.
The vigil will be held at 8pm at St Ignatius Church Richmond and will continue into the early hours of the morning.