The story of Christianity and Aboriginal culture in Australia, is one of tragedy, loss and deep sorrow.
“It was the church’s decree that they pillage our land and conquer us,” Larissa Minniecon says. “So through Christianity, or churches - we have lost everything.”
Larissa is a Kabi Kabi woman and a Torres Strait Islander. She is also a Christian woman. In fact, her last name may sound familiar - Ray Minniecon, is her father and a prominent Aboriginal Christian leader.
“We deeply believe in the message, we deeply believe in Jesus, and I think because of that we’ve survived all the atrocities that have been thrown to us,” she says. “Being a Christian helps us survive and give grace to a lot of people, and also hope.”
In this episode of Life & Faith, we consider these stories of hope and reconciliation that are found hidden within the darker narrative that charts the relationship between the church and Aboriginal people.
You’ll hear from Larissa Minniecon, who heads up Common Grace’s Aboriginal Justice team, and her colleagues, TanyaRiches and Shane Fenwick.
Grant Paulson, an Aboriginal man, a son of a Baptist minister and a trained clergyman himself, also joins us with a candid interview about his thoughts on reconciliation. He’s also recorded a song for us so listen out for it at the end of the episode.
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