Since putting out a call for help to our followers, we’ve been able to identify even more local councils across the country that are continuing to recite prayers as part of official government business.
Our list – which we hope will become a comprehensive resource showing all the governments across Australia forcing elected representatives to take part in prayers – now has 46 councils, plus state and federal parliaments.
Whether it’s on the Gold Coast in Queensland (see main image), on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria (see inset image), in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales or in the shire of Stirling in Western Australia, sectarian prayers continue to be privileged.
Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far. In particular, thanks to our special supporter in Victoria who canvassed all of the state’s councils!
With 537 councils across Australia, there’s a long way to go before our list can become more complete.
To help our #SecularGovernment campaign, you can take some of the following actions:
- Go to the website of your local council and check if they have a section for prayers listed in their meeting agendas/minutes.
- Comment below to let us know if your council has the practice of reciting prayers (and don't forget to let us know which council you're talking about).
- Contact your councillors to let them know that you disagree with the practice of including divisive and exclusionary prayers as part of official government business.
- Start a petition through your council calling on prayers to be removed (and let us know you've done it!).
- By going one step further and donating to us, you can help us to sponsor our social media posts to raise awareness of this issue in particular council areas. Make a contribution here.
This is another post in our #SecularGovernment campaign which is shining a spotlight on religious privilege in our armed forces.
More on Secular Government
A YouGov survey undertaken on behalf of the Secular Association of NSW has found that 53 per cent of Australians favour an amendment to the constitution to formally separate government and religion.
NSL Ambassador Jane Caro appears on Sunday Night Crews with Rev. Bill Crews on 2GB Sydney to discuss prayers in parliament.
NSL Ambassador Luke Beck appears on Mornings with Nadia Mitsopoulos on ABC Perth to discuss the legality of prayers in local councils.
NSL Ambassador Luke Beck appears on Drive with Heidi Murphy on 3AW Melbourne to discuss the legality of prayers in local councils and the issue of prayers in parliament generally.
The Mornington Peninsula community will now have a say on whether it approves of replacing a religious prayer with a secular pledge to open its local council meetings.
A showdown is looming at next Tuesday’s Mornington Peninsula Council meeting as two Christian councillors will seek to overturn a decision to remove the recital of prayer from official proceedings at the Victorian council.
At the National Secular Lobby, we're pleased to have joined forces with a number of pro-secular community organisations in the #DontDivideUs campaign against the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill. Add your voice to the campaign.