The social justice advocate Tim Costello has called on his fellow Christians to “calm down” about their alleged persecution, amid a brewing political storm over how the government should act to protect against religious discrimination.
Costello, speaking in his new role as a senior fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity, also warned that the federal government should not try to legislate to cover “extreme” examples of competing rights, citing the high-profile Israel Folau case as an example.
The former chief advocate for World Vision Australia is backing the recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious discrimination, but has dismissed calls from conservative Coalition MPs for a religious freedom bill.
He said he did not see any evidence of the persecution of Christians in Australia, and said they needed to “suck it up”, just like Jesus.
“I don’t think there is a risk of persecution – Christians need to calm down,” Costello said.
“I would say to Christians if you want to see persecution, let me take you to places where there is persecution of Christians and other religious groups – let me take you to Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, and I will show you persecution.
“And if they read their Bibles, Jesus said the world will hate you and misunderstand you for following me, but to go on following, loving, serving – so I would say, just suck it up.
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