The journey through the Christian history of Australia’s outback is truly captivating. It’s a story filled with incredible characters who played an important role in shaping Australia’s faith – some of whom may even surprise us.
Dr Paul Roe recently released his book called Tell Me Another: A Storyteller’s Search for Australia’s Lost Faith. It’s filled with amazing stories of explorers, poets, Bushrangers, Cavaliers, riverboat captains and everyday Aussies.
Paul is a historian and tour guide from the New South Wales outback with 50 years of experience in engaging audiences with powerful stories of faith. He recently joined us on 20Twenty to tell us a bit more about Australia’s Christian history.
Bravery and Sacrifice
Every year, ANZAC Day holds a place of great significance on our calendars, commemorating the bravery and sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War I. What many people may not know is that faith played a crucial role in the lives of these soldiers.
Christian faith provided comfort, hope, and strength to those fighting on the front lines. Many soldiers carried Bibles as they went into battle, and chaplains were an integral part of their support network. In fact, it was common for soldiers to attend church services before heading off to war.
Paul has extensively studied the history of ANZAC Day in Australia. He says, ‘ANZAC Day is not only about remembering those who fought for our country but also about acknowledging the role that faith played in their lives.’
A Source of Hope
According to Paul, Christianity was source of hope to soldiers’ during World War I, while also playing a significant role in shaping Australia’s cultural identity. ‘The Christian faith provided soldiers with a sense of purpose during one of the most challenging times in their lives.’
Paul believes that ANZAC Day is not just about commemorating the past but also recognising the continued relevance of faith in modern-day society.
‘ANZAC Day reminds us that we need to hold onto our values and beliefs as we face new challenges today.’