Along with the rest of the Western world, Australia now faces challenges of a seriousness not seen for many years. Following the collapse of the Soviet empire in the early 1990s, new forms of totalitarianism have emerged with startling rapidity.
Extremist forces in Islam have mobilised anti-Western sentiment in a way not seen since communist insurgencies threatened many countries around the world. The attacks on the United States in September 2001 have been followed by acts of jihad (holy war) perpetrated in the name of Islam against many other nations. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, Iranian fundamentalism, the Bali bombings and the recent failed attempts to blow British and American aircraft out of the skies have contributed to the radicalisation of Islamic opinion and the recruitment of Muslim youth to terrorist cells in many countries.
China, a one-party communist dictatorship established by Mao Tse-tung in 1949, is emerging as a more formidable threat to Western economic power and values than the Soviet Union ever was. Australia's unhealthy dependence on China's economic growth endangers our sovereignty.
At the same time, Western societies are collapsing internally. The growth of rampant individualism has dissolved the mortar which holds societies together. Christianity, as a system of belief which underpins social values, is facing an uphill battle against rampant secularism which controls the commanding heights in the media, the education system and the economy.
The intact family, which provided the most favourable environment for the care of the young and the elderly, is under unprecedented threat. Even the Internet, which offers an unprecedented opportunity for sharing information, has become a moral sewer.
We believe that Christianity has a vital role to play in meeting these challenges and only a rediscovery of its authentic foundations, as Benedict XVI has repeatedly said, will enable Western civilisation to survive.
AD2000 has an important role to play in identifying the issues and putting forward credible solutions. Your support for the 2006 Fighting Fund will ensure that this work continues. Can you help us once again?
Peter Westmore is Publisher of AD2000.