Political leaders and grief-stricken parents share Easter Sunday messages of hope

Wesley Mission

6 am, Easter Sunday national broadcast on Nine Network, NBN Television and Imparja:

· Interview with Danny and Leila Abdallah, who lost three of their children in a tragedy at the hands of a drunk driver

· Easter Sunday messages from Australian political leaders Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese

· Easter Sunrise is now in its 58th year of annual broadcast

Wesley Mission CEO Rev Stu Cameron will host the national Easter Sunday Sunrise broadcast tomorrow morning from the shores of Sydney Harbour. Its central message is one of hope.

Rev Stu Cameron says, “This Easter, as in every Easter, we celebrate an empty cross, empty grave clothes – and an empty tomb. Too often, our world offers promises full of emptiness, but Easter offers emptiness full of promise!”

The hour-long program features a very moving interview with Danny and Leila Abdallah who’s public grief and forgiveness of the drunk driver responsible for the tragic death of three of their children shocked Australians and people across the world.

Leila Abdallah explains why they chose to forgive, saying, “Grief is hard enough, let alone mixed with anger and bitterness and all these emotions. Forgiveness is the core of our faith, and it is the message of Easter.”

“As a mum, of course, I miss my kids every day… they are always in my heart, and they are always with me. But as a woman of faith, I believe my kids are in heaven. They are in the best place they could possibly be.”

“And to be honest with you, no-one can escape death. It is part of our life.”

The broadcast also features greetings from political and Christian leaders. The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, says of Easter Sunday, “Today, we celebrate the three most important words in our Christian faith. He is risen! It changes everything, especially for those of faith. Victory over sin, victory over despair, the victory over death. The victory.”

Opposition Leader, The Hon. Anthony Albanese MP also acknowledges the significance of Easter Sunday, saying, “It is important that in a year of so much grief and heartache that we can share in the joy of Easter.”

Other leaders to share messages include National President of Australian Christian Churches Wayne Alcorn, President of the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Dr Deidre Palmer, Aboriginal Christian Leader and CEO of Common Grace Brooke Prentis and Anglican Dean of Sydney The Very Rev. Kanishka Raffel.

Music from Australian Christian group CityAlight plays throughout the hour, including the first live recorded performance of their new single, ‘It Was Finished Upon That Cross’.

Rev Stu Cameron encourages all Australians to consider what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means, saying, “Circumstances can crush our hope. But in the message of Easter, we find forgiveness, our future is secured, and hope is offered to the world.”

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length.