1,000 Teardrops for Asylum Seekers this Christmas

There was no Christmas tree outside Gosford Anglican Church this year.

Instead there was an installation of 1,000 teardrops representing the approximate number of men, women and children in Australian Immigration Detention Centres on Manus Island, Nauru and on the mainland.

Two asylum seekers Raha and Baran, who cannot use their real names for fear of reprisals from the new Home Affairs Department, created the installation, cutting out each teardrop and embellishing it with the silhouette of a bird in flight.

Raha said, “With each teardrop I imagined a human being, with each bird I imagined them flying free. I found the children’s teardrops were especially hard to create, such tiny, innocent lives held captive on a dreadful, island prison for so many years.”

Fr Rod Bower said, “We will place this installation on Christmas Eve to remind us that we cannot truly celebrate the meaning of Christmas until we recognise that as Christians we must always offer hospitality to the poor, the oppressed and the refugee. Jesus was himself a refugee whose family fled from an oppressive and cruel regime.”