Catholic bishops have raised concerns that new laws in Australia could force Church members to register as agents of a foreign power.
Last month, Australia unveiled legislation designed to limit foreign interference in political activity.
The government said the changes, still to be formally debated, will protect transparency and Australia’s interests.
But Catholic officials have said the laws are too broad and could prevent churchgoers’ advocacy and charity work.
“Catholics are followers of Jesus Christ – we are not agents of a foreign government,” said Bishop Robert McGuckin, from Toowoomba in Queensland.