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Mar 8 2005
Australian Gov't Official to Attend Anti-Humanist Event

Anti-Islam Conference Lists Abbott (

FEDERAL Health Minister Tony Abbott has been listed to appear as the main speaker at an anti-Islamic Christian conference in May.

The conference's theme is how Islam is destroying Australia's Christian values. The Daily Telegraph has learned that the minister, who is pushing a Christian-backed anti-abortion agenda, is listed as the keynote speaker at the fundamentalist gathering. His topics are to include Christian values and abortion.

The Annual Festival of Light Conference is a coalition of Christian groups from around the country convened by NSW Upper House MP the Reverend Fred Nile.

While Mr Abbott is yet to officially confirm his attendance, he is being promoted in advertising literature. The promotional brochure, which was posted out inside issues of the newsletter Family News, warned that only Christians were allowed to attend the conference "because of the subject matter".

"The conference, because of the subject matter, is restricted to Christians who attend a Christian church," said the brochure, signed by Mr Nile.

"All Christians are welcome who wish to be informed about the Daniel Scot v Islam court case, Islam, Humanism and Paganism, which are seeking to undermine our Christian heritage.

"We will also examine our relationship to Israel as God's chosen people."

NSW Democrats MP Arthur Chesterfield Evans said it showed poor lack of judgment by the minister.

"There should be a separation of church and state," said Mr Chesterfield Evans. "This should be the basis of a modern secular state.

"[Mr Abbott] should represent Australians without fear or favour ... it is worrying he is attending a forum which would appear to be Christian fundamentalism attacking other religions."

Organisers of the Festival of Light said Mr Abbott had not confirmed his availability but had made a commitment to try to attend.

Mr Abbott, who was recently reunited with his son, whom he gave up for adoption when Mr Abbot was 19, is listed as the guest speaker at the May 28 conference at the Southern Cross Bible College at Chester Hill.

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