Nine of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia have been awarded certificates of appreciation for providing “outstanding service” to detainees at one of Australia’s largest immigration detention centers. The Witnesses received the awards from the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre near Derby, Western Australia. *

Each week, the Witnesses visit the detainees to hear their experiences and to share the Bible’s message of comfort and hope. “The effects from their visits to the clients are easily seen immediately,” said Christopher Riddoch, the center’s religious and cultural liaison officer. He said that the mood of the detainees improves and that they are happier after the visits, which he credits to the men “knowing there are people out there genuinely interested in their well-being.”

Mr. Riddoch also said that the certificate given to the Witnesses is a small gesture of thanks for, as he put it, “improving the lives of the men under our care.” He added that the Witnesses “are a credit to their families, their congregation, and their faith.”

^ par. 2 The facility can hold up to 1,500 men.