Land and wealth are always a vexing issue for the church. Where that wealth and land comes from is highly problematic in places like Australia.
The value of the portfolio of land held by Australian churches would make it among the biggest , if not the biggest, owners of real estate in the country.
The issue is about where it all came from as much as it is about ‘giving away all that you have to follow Jesus’. The Australian churches were partners in the colonial dispossession of Australia.
The colonies were all established on the basis of land theft. The vast majority of church land holdings are based on grants or purchases of lands that were originally stolen.
This then raises the added ugly proposition that Christian Churches are receivers of stolen goods and continue to benefit from that theft.
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