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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1106

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

The petition of the undersigned citizens respectfully showeth:

That there is widespread community concern about the proposal to open a Soviet Information (Communist Propaganda) Centre and if it is allowed to be opened by the Hawke Government. it will have a far more pervasive and detrimental effect on the Australian community than any other such centre possibly could. It is appalling that this opening may have been contemplated.

That the recent Soviet amnesty to some prisoners of conscience should not be taken as a sign that the Soviet dictatorship has changed from being an oppressive murderous regime to one that somehow can be called democratic. It has not changed and for all purposes is unlikely to change voluntarily as it is by nature an oppressor of the people it subjugates.

That all governments in Australia and the Australian media should be aware and take note that Soviet is not Russian, (the Soviet Union is not Russia) and the dictatorial government of the USSR is communist, international and anti-Russian in its essence. In 1917 Russia and the Russian people were the first martyrs (victims) of the marxist-communist disease and that communism annihilates religion, violates human rights, tramples on human dignity and all freedom of speech is absent. The whole population of the USSR is equally enslaved by the communist dictatorship. (The Gulags are a living testimony to the system.) No people, no nation is free under communism.

That in 1988 the Russian people inside the Iron Curtain and in particular abroad will be celebrating 1000 years of Orthodox Christianity.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Senate will do all in its power to encourage-

(1) all Governments of Australia (State and Commonwealth) together with the Australian media to speak the truth in defence of those who are persecuted and imprisoned for the truth of God, and extend a helping hand to their families, and

(2) the government of the USSR to open all closed churches in the USSR, return them to the Orthodox Christian people and cease all persecution of religious people forthwith.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.