"This is a matter of lifelong consequences for the sake of short term politics.
"We are dealing with life and death issues, with lifetime implications for refugees and we cannot let these changes happen at the whim of a minister who cannot see past the next election.
"Sadly Mr Ruddock wants to change the rules simply because they don't suit his needs at this political moment," said Rosemary Miller, Acting National Director Uniting Church Social Responsibility and Justice.
Theo Mackaay, Executive Officer Anglican Social Responsibility Commission, said "The Refugee Convention is 50 years old. It has been the source of hope and promise for millions during that time.
"It may be that the international community believes it is time to review and amend it - but that would be a decision for the international community, and not one which the Australian Government can take unilaterally. In the meantime, let the convention be the guide even if it means erring on the side of acting from a spirit of justice and humanitarianism"
"Again the churches call for a compassionate response to genuine human need. We call for a just response from Australia consistent not only with the letter of the law but within the spirit in which it was written," Ms Miller said.