A Townsville Catholic church community has banded together to try and save one of their parishioners from deportation back to Afghanistan, reports the ABC.
Thirty-year-old Patrick Wilson lives in Townsville, but was recently detained by the Department of Immigration and is now facing deportation. The Department says he does not have the appropriate visa to live in Australia.
Mr Wilson arrived in Australia in 2011 by boat and is now considered a valued Townsville local by his church, the Sacred Heart Parish. Fellow parishioner Steven Sutton says Mr Wilson was on a bridging visa, co-owned a scrap metal business and is a devout Catholic.
Mr Sutton is appealing to local member Ewan Jones and federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to give Mr Wilson a protection visa.
Mr Sutton says Mr Wilson could be at risk if he returns to Afghanistan. "The big risk is because he became a Catholic," Mr Sutton said. "That is called apostasy in Islam, which is converting from Islam, which carries the death penalty in Afghanistan."
Many parishioners from Sacred Heart have come together to create a petition asking Mr Morrison to save Mr Wilson from deportation.
FULL STORY Church petitions to stop Afghan man's deportation (ABC)