Court Hearings Regarding Australian Pastors Resume

( [email protected] ) Nov 11, 2003 11:33 AM EST

Hearings resumed Monday, Oct. 27 in a controversial court case against Australian pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot who could face high fines and up to six months in prison for allegedly inciting hatred towards Muslims.

The case is being held at the Civil and Administrative Tribunal of Victoria, amid concern that lawyers may not have enough time to prepare their defense.

"Defense attorneys requested a two-week delay in order to prepare to defend against additional charges, but last week the judge in the case denied their request, and the hearing was scheduled to continue today," said the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).

The Islamic Council started the court case saying that the Christian ministry Catch the Fire of pastors Nalliah and Scot "vilified Muslims" at a seminar on jihad on March 9, 2002, a violation of Victoria's "Racial and Religious Toleration Act."

Both pastors were reportedly lecturing on the differences between Christianity and Islam, and quoted information about Islam directly from the Koran and other recognized Islamic sources.


VOM, which supports persecuted Christians, said it urged believers around the would "to pray for justice in this case and God's sustaining power for Pastor Danny Nalliah and Pastor Daniel Scot."

The organization stressed the two men will not be allowed to argue during their defense whether or not their statements were true, but only on whether or not they incited "hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule" of Muslims.

"This case is a wake-up call for Western Christians," said VOM spokesman Nettleton,"These men are not on trial for telling lies. They are on trial--in what we would call a free nation--for telling the truth."