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NZ Archbishops to discuss Christian responses to crime

NZ Archbishops to discuss Christian responses to crime

August 16 2013

The Roman Catholic and Anglican archbishops of New Zealand are inviting their churches to pray and discuss how the Christian gospel is foundational to the rights and needs of victims, offenders, and their families.

The archbishops say a justice system, levels of offending, and victim's needs and rights, are often summed up through statistics when it is actually about people. Victims have needs and rights and offenders also need to face what they have done and be reintegrated into society.

The leaders share a concern that while the crime rate is falling in New Zealand, the level of incarceration in prisons has increased in the past four years and rates of reoffending remain high. The archbishops believe a relevant question is whether prison is the effective remedy for all who offend to be able to turn their lives around.

The archbishops' request accompanies the prayer vigil for victims, prisoners and their families outside Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by the Anglican Bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth. The archbishops went and prayed with Bishop Justin today and want to encourage conversations and awareness about the issue.

The archbishops believe the Christian community can express hope and influence across society. They say while there have been some good initiatives taken to reduce reoffending by prisoners on release, with education assessments and reintegration, we need to ask ourselves as churches and society if there is more that can be done for victims and offenders and so for the common good of all.

Archbishop John Dew
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington

Archbishop Philip Richardson
Anglican Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses

Archbishop Brown Turei
Anglican Archbishop, Te Pihopa o Aotearoa


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