Christmas Day service for Sudanese migrants in Melbourne full of dancing and prayer

Australia's Christmas Day services have been given a new splash of colour, song and dance by Sudanese migrants.

"When you see us dancing it [is] our way of pleasing God, like praising God," said Abraham Kon, from the Jolwoliech youth ministry.

More than 200 people packed out the Holy Apostles church in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine for a Sudanese Christmas Day service.

The service included sermons, communion, and quiet moments of prayer.

But for most of it, churchgoers sang songs of praise in their traditional language.

And just before it ended, children and young adults took the over the service with a series of dance performances.

"Dancing is one of the most important things that we could do to please God," Mr Kon said.

"Dancing is about communication.

"God has different ways to communicate … and you have to smile, you have to please God."

The dances incorporated traditional music and moves, but also included some pop and hip hop.

That is because the Sudanese community is not just one of the fastest growing in Australia — it is also demographically one of the youngest.

And in some cases the community is struggling to find its way in Australia.

Some young Sudanese people have become involved in crime in Melbourne, and the message at the service was about integration.

Reverend Daniel Gai Aleu led the Christmas Day service and had a simple message for those that attended.

"Love yourself, love your brother, love your neighbour, love your country," he said.

"As you see here now, we have a lot of good young people.

"There are a lot of challenges, but it is my hope, that one day, one time, Australia will know the Sudanese are good people."