from our partnerFaithwire
written byWill Maule
The new Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has made a surprise appearance at a Christian conference, declaring that the country needs more of “the love of God.”
Speaking at the annual Hillsong Conference in Sydney, the Prime Minister, who hailed his recent election victory a “miracle,” also openly prayed for the Lord to intervene and bring an end to a widespread drought that continues to cripple his nation.
“Lord, we just pray for rain: That your rain will fall on this nation,” Morrison declared in front of thousands of believers, according to Reuters. “Lord, that you will restore those communities, and that you will see a prosperity in this nation from the rain.”
He added: “What this country needs more than anything is the love of God.”
Increased religious freedom protection for Christians
In light of the religious freedom case currently engulfing former Australian National Rugby player, Israel Folau, Morrison sought to assure believers of his intentions to usher forward legislation that would further protect the free speech of Christians.
“We’ll do what we must do from a legislative point of view and the law,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk about our freedoms as Christians in this country and they should be protected.”
Morrison added that there was “nothing more fundamental than the freedom of belief, whatever that belief might be,” and that values of religious freedom should be “nourished and protected.”
During his election campaign, Morrison invited the press to watch him pray in his local church in a bid to normalize the practice among Australian civil society. His surprise appearance at Hillsong Conference, however, was kept very much under wraps.
“I speak about my faith … because I want everyone in this place to feel comfortable about talking about their faith,” he declared, to rapturous applause.
On Friday, Australia’s Attorney General briefed more than 20 MP’s on a newly tabled anti-discrimination bill, which he said: “provides an avenue for people who think a rule in their employment has unfairly disadvantaged them or led to their termination unfairly because of their religion.”
It goes a long way to protect people from being discriminated against in the context of their employment,” he added, according to the Guardian.
As for Israel Folau—he is likely to take his religious discrimination case to federal court after recently failing to come to an agreed settlement with his former employer, Rugby Australia.