The Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia welcomes the following statement by Australian church leaders on the passing of the asylum seeker legislation.

Today's passage of the asylum seeker legislation through the Federal Parliament is a dismaying and distressing occurrence in our national life.

The Uniting Church in Australia has expressed its disappointment in the recommendations of the Houston Committee and called for a new beginning in the national debate on asylum seekers.

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. The Thirteenth Assembly has, as you know, been meeting over this past week in Adelaide.

Over the last few months, thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have raised their voices in opposition to the discriminatory aspects of the 'Stronger Futures' legislation.

On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia, I offer our thoughts and prayers for the safety of the asylum seekers affected by the latest tragedy off Christmas Island.

The Uniting Church in Australia has welcomed the call by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to investigate the proposed Stronger Futures legislation.

UnitingJustice, the national justice policy unit of the Uniting Church in Australia, has welcomed the new website materials produced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for asylum seekers arriving by boat.

The Uniting Church's justice unit UnitingJustice Australia has written to Senators urging them to reject the Stronger Futures legislation scheduled for debate in the Senate today.

The Uniting Church in Australia has called on Australians to support the community placement of asylum seekers by getting behind the Gillard Government's soon-to-be launched Community Placement Network (CPN).