Churches Become Targets in Sydney's Race Riots

December 15, 2005


On December 15, 2005 reported, "As police in Sydney brace for the possibility of more street brawls this weekend, Christian symbols have become a new target following last Sunday's clashes between white Australians and ethnic Arab gangs.

Four such attacks were reported in two days - a Uniting church hall was torched; an Anglican church's windows were smashed; Molotov cocktails were thrown at another Anglican church; and gunshots were fired at parked cars and parents and children verbally abused outside a Catholic primary school Christmas carol services... After weeks of escalating tensions attributed to unruly behavior by Lebanese youths on city beaches, surfers and other locals of a suburb called Cronulla organized a beachside demonstration last Sunday which erupted into clashes between whites and people of Arab origin... Sydney's Lebanese community comprises both Muslims and Christians, and members of both religious groups called for a curfew of Lebanese young people on Friday and Saturday night and all day on Sunday.

Church leaders also called for calm, urging Arab-Australians not to target Christians or Christmas-related functions."