Australia Mulls New Religious Freedom Bill

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Australia is considering a new bill to protect the rights of a person to religious freedom and expression. This, following the sacking of a high profile sportsman for his social media posts about hell.

Christian rugby player Israel Folau was fired last April after writing “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters.” Rugby Australia terminated his lucrative contract for being in breach of their Professional Players’ Code of Conduct, reports Premier.

This draft bill released today extends those protections to provide protection for people against discrimination on the basis of their religion or religious belief, or lack thereof. —Christian Porter, Australia’s Attorney General

The proposed Religious Discrimination Bill will allow Australians to express their faith outside the workplace, as long as there is no financial damage to their employer, according to Reuters.

Australia’s Attorney General Christian Porter said, “Australia has a strong anti-discrimination framework with specific protections for people against discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race and disability.”

“This draft bill released today extends those protections to provide protection for people against discrimination on the basis of their religion or religious belief, or lack thereof.”

Despite the scandal that cost him his multi-million dollar employment, Folau will be speaking at the “Not Ashamed” conference of the Australian Christian Lobby on October 19.

The group’s website said, “Not Ashamed is an event to equip Christians in this generation to grow in our knowledge of the truth, especially in its application to this changing world around us.”

Previously, Folau spoke at a Christian function and remained steadfast with his beliefs. He challenged the audience to be courageous and to stand firm with their faith. “True believers in Christ, are we going to follow through and profess him wherever we go. Whether…through our actions or by our mouth.”

Legislation for the religious freedom bill will be introduced into parliament in October.

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Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.