Read This, Australian Christian Lobby hit by 'car bomb' in Canberra

Read This, Australian Christian Lobby hit by 'car bomb' in Canberra

Image captionThe burnt-out van cordoned off by police tape

A van filled with gas bottles has been driven into the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) headquarters in Canberra.

Fire destroyed the vehicle and blew out the ground floor windows of the Eternity House office building.

The incident took place at about 22:45 (11:45 GMT) on Wednesday and police confirmed the driver was the only person injured.

Lyle Shelton, the lobby's managing director, was relieved no staff were present during the "targeted attack".

"We have received a number of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this year," he told the ABC.

"This is an attack on free speech in Australia which I am deeply shocked about and never though I would see in my lifetime."

Local media have reported that the driver of the vehicle was taken to Canberra Hospital for treatment.

Australian Capital Territory Police confirmed they were investigating the incident but did not say if they were treating it as suspicious.

What is the Australian Christian Lobby?

The ACL describes itself as a "grassroots movement" of more than 80,000 people seeking to bring Christian influence to public policy.

The conservative lobby is well known in Australia for opposing same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and an LGBT education programme in schools. It supports Christian school chaplaincy and internet censorship.

Since the 2007 federal election, leaders from Australia's two main political parties have addressed conferences sponsored by the ACL.

The group is active on social media and often in the news, but some have questioned its influence beyond conservative politicians.

The ACL has also been criticised by some religious leaders who say it does not represent the views of all Christians.

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