Yoga – Why our fast-paced society loves it

Men doing YogaScientists at the National Institutes of Health found that longtime yoga practitioners don’t display the usual age-related declines in the brain’s gray matter. Yogis also had larger volume in several brain regions, including the hippocampus, critical to memory and emotional regulation, and the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, involved in attention and self-awareness.

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China: Overcoming environmental degradation through a green growth economy: The role of religious leadership

China Interfaith MeetingOvercoming environmental degradation through a green growth economy: The role of religious leadership was presented to the International Seminar on Interfaith Exchanges and Shared Future for Humanity, sponsored by the China Committee for Religions and Peace, Beijing, in December of 2019 by Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, Deputy Moderator – Religions for Peace Asia, and Chair, Religions for Peace Australia.

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Amended religious freedom bill ‘deeply flawed’, says Law Council

Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses SC.The nation’s peak legal body has condemned the Morrison government’s revised religious discrimination bill, declaring it remains “a deeply flawed piece of legislation” that puts freedom of religious expression ahead of other human rights.

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Pope Francis delivers Christmas message to the faithful

Pope Francis delivers Christmas message to the faithful

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Tuesday hailed the virtue of selfless Christian charity as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

The service is one of the most important ceremonies in the Catholic liturgy, marking the birth of Jesus Christ. Thousands of people flocked to the basilica and St Peter’s Square to follow it.

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Pope Francis writes on the significance of the Christmas crèche

A nativity scene in the Hermitage of Greccio Sanctuary


Pope Francis has written about the meaning and importance of the nativity scene. He signed the Letter during his visit to the Italian town of Greccio – where St Francis first created the Nativity.

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Do humanists celebrate Christmas?

Christmas Ball

(RNS) — The war on Christmas is over — if you want it, according to Anne Klaeysen, leader emerita of the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Even the idea that there’s a war on Christmas is “antithetical to the holiday spirit, whether it’s Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa,” Klaeysen said.

“(The holiday spirit) is about celebrating the human story that we are here on this earth, that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to engage in ethical relationships. I think it’s a message of unity and how we can be more inclusive.”

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Far-right extremist Blair Cottrell loses appeal against conviction for inciting contempt of Muslims

Blair CottrellFar-right extremist Blair Cottrell has lost his appeal against a conviction for religious vilification, with a judge finding a 2017 stunt in which he beheaded a dummy to protest against a proposed mosque in Victoria was “calculated to promote rank and demeaning stereotyping of Muslims”.

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Mother starts petition to stop Hillsong Church ‘proselytising’ in public schools

Hillsong Church in Schools

A Melbourne mother has launched a campaign to ban Hillsong Church’s youth pastors from running sessions in public schools as part of a planned national tour next year.

Fiona Newton started the petition calling for the ban, saying she was alarmed by Hillsong’s 2020 Schools Tour’s plan to expand and “proselytise” in non-religious schools.

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Book Review: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The title of Professor Dov Waxman’s new book, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know, hides an important tension that gets explained in the course of reading this book, which addresses a most complex and confusing topic.

The conflict is not unitary. The make-up of the two sides has changed over time. From 1948-1972, it was known as the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. It involved the entire region and was not solely focused on the Palestinian question; the surrounding Arab states had territorial goals as well.

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Engaging with Community – Serving in a Troubled World

Multifaith Association of South Australia Logo The Multifaith Association of South Australia conducted a year-end event at the Unitarian Church, Norwood, SA. Speakers from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Bahá’í faith and Hinduism participated. Here, we share the talk given by Ms Ann Aisatullin of the Multifaith Association of South Australia.

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“Current Dialogue” focuses on rethinking interfaith engagement

Current Dialogue Cover

Current Dialogue, the World Council of Churches’ long-standing journal on interreligious relations, is now available online and as a print issue in a new format.

Recognizing the indispensability of interreligious dialogue amidst changing religious realities, the journal seeks to offer space for stimulating and sustained reflections on a wide range of interreligious issues.

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Pope Francis abolishes ‘pontifical secret’ in clergy sex abuse cases

Pope Francis preaching in RomePope Francis has abolished the “pontifical secret” used in clergy sexual abuse cases, after mounting criticism that the high degree of confidentiality has been used to protect paedophiles, silence victims and keep law enforcement from investigating crimes.

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Community Trauma Toolkit

Community Trauma Toolkit

Emerging Minds has released a new suite of resources designed to help children and young people affected by trauma. Developed by Emerging Minds and the Australian National University as part of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health project, the information and training materials include videos, podcasts, training workshops to run with your team and downloadable fact sheets.

The toolkit is tailored to six key audiences – educators, first responders, community leaders, families, general practitioners (GPs), and health and social service practitioners. It’s also arranged to match five timelines – preparedness, immediate, short-term recovery, long-term recovery and ongoing recovery.

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Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony

Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony

Let’s talk about that over coffee,” is a common phrase in our society. It is something people do from all walks of life, all backgrounds, cultures and religions. It is a way that people connect, learn about each other and find common ground.

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