The party has already registered nationally and in two states and it is running a candidate in this week’s Victorian by-election for the seat of Melbourne.
The national director of Australian Christians, Ray Moran, says the party stands up for Christian values and hopes to put in a strong showing at the next federal election.
But the Victorian Council of Churches says it is astounded that the party has been allowed to register a name which implies that it represents an entire faith.
Mr Moran says the party is spreading around the country in the lead-up to the next federal election. “We are registered in Western Australia and Victoria. We will also be registering offices in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland,” he said.
Mr Moran says he wants other parties which identify as Christian to unite under the banner of Australian Christians and many of the party’s members have come from the Christian Democratic Party.
“Out of the Christian Democratic Party a number of people started this new party called Australian Christians and [we are] inviting people from the CDP, from Family First and from the DLP to join us under one banner,” he said.
The Australian Christians candidate for the seat of Melbourne, Maria Bengtsson, says she is realistic about her chances in this week’s by-election. “I’ll just be happy if I get 4 per cent, I’ll be happy,” she said.
Ms Bengtsson is also realistic about some of her beliefs and is aware that her stance against halal food products in supermarkets will be described as discriminatory.
“Well I’m not racist but what we don’t like is another religious like Islamic people pushing their religion, their halal food, their culture, their sharia law,” she said. “They’re living in a Christian country and I represent 60 per cent, over 60 per cent of Christians in Australia.”