Statement on the Role of Churches in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Love, Steadfastness, Hope and Courage

Prayer in a time of Pandemic

The World Council of Churches executive committee released a public statement on the role of churches in the context of COVID-19. Focused on love, steadfastness, hope and courage, the statement reflects on the damage COVID has wreaked over the last five months—and how churches can offer hope.

“Though in some ways the pandemic has been a great equalizer in its range and global impact, it is also exposing and exacerbating the deep divisions, injustices, economic inequalities and racism in our societies,” the statement reads. “Churches and faith communities are called to accompany the most vulnerable people and communities, as well as to be in solidarity with each other.”

The church is called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, the statement reads. “We pray that churches everywhere will be empowered and equipped to be messengers of unity, trust and truth, against the voices promoting division, suspicion and unsubstantiated rumour.”

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Transformational Resilience in Times of Crisis

Initiatives of Change logoInitiatives of Change Australia is offering to you and your networks the unique opportunity to join in an online seminar with special guest speaker, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, from the University of Illinois USA, on World Refugee Day, 20 June at 11am.

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Looking after your mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In this togetherWhile it is a time of uncertainty and our lives have changed in a short period of time, it’s important to remember that we can do many things to feel better. Remember that these changes and your effort is helping to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Buddhism in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter

Buddhism in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter


Imagine Siddhartha is a person who has been protected by his loved ones from the reality of racism. He leaves his protected compound, perhaps a community gated specifically to separate itself from undesired people. He enters a place where he sees darker-skinned, unarmed people being shot dead by the police or perhaps by guards who serve to protect his enclosed community. Maybe he encounters darker-skinned people who are sicker and more malnourished than lighter-skinned people. What if Siddhartha saw that?

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USCIRF Applauds Executive Order to Advance International Religious Freedom

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)Washington, DC –The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on “Advancing International Religious Freedom,” which elevates the U.S. government’s prioritization of religious freedom in its foreign policy; increases foreign assistance funding to $50 million annually; expands mandatory training on international religious freedom to more federal officials; encourages the utilization of economic tools; and more explicitly integrates international religious freedom into U.S. bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.

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NSW: Meditative Prayer using the songs of Taizé

Meditative Prayer using the songs of TaizéSinging is one of the most essential elements of worship. Short songs, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character. Using just a few words they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. The NSW Ecumenical Council invites you to join in an online session of Meditative Prayer using the songs of Taizé on evening of Friday, June 12, 2020 at 6 PM – 6:45 PM.

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The Black Jews Are Tired

Black Jews are equal

Black Jews are tired, and we have been tired for a long time. But most of us – more than most, I’d say – are nonetheless hopeful.

We’re hopeful that despite being ignored and failed in the past, our allies will do the work we are often too exhausted to (but do anyway). We’re hopeful that our leaders – who speak of tikkun olam (repair of our broken world) and b’tzelem Elohim (the idea that we’re all created in the image of God) – will act to repair the world by screaming in the face of racism, rather than sitting in silence; that they will act as though the Black faces they’re defending are the actual faces of God.

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Pope begs world leaders to provide coronavirus relief

Pope Francis prays the rosary for coronavirus relief


Pope Francis begged world leaders on Saturday to act wisely and generously to provide social and economic relief for the many workers who have lost jobs, and called for the enormous sums of money used to grow and perfect armaments be instead used to fund research to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.

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Resources on family violence – in language: audio-video

Victoria Police

Victoria Police has today launched videos in multiple languages to encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to seek help if they are experiencing family violence.

The videos are available in English and 12 other languages: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dari, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Punjabi, Macedonian, Turkish and Vietnamese.

These videos will soon also be available in an additional 13 languages: Hindi, Pashto, Khmer, Korean, Japanese, Serbian, Sinhalese, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Malay, Somali, Russian and Polish.

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Grand Mufti of Australia writes on occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

Dr Ibrahim Abu MohammadDr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad – Grand Mufti of Australia – delivers a message to all Muslims in Australia that they support the Oneness of our Australian Community as well as the Oneness of God. Eid Ul-Fitr is the Muslim festival which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, the end of fasting and a celebration to mark the completion of a month of self-reflection. It falls on this Sunday 24 May 2020.

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Global coalition of 42 faith institutions divest from fossil fuels

Greenfaith logoThis week, 42 faith institutions from 14 countries announced their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions around the world to date. Faith organisations in the UK, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain and the United States are taking part. 

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International Day for Biological Diversity

biodiversity and the earthIn these days of coronavirus, many are speaking about emergence from lockdown and care for our planet – and climate change in particular. The International Day for Biological Diversity (UN Observance) is a world-wide relevant reminder that we must take action to care for the only Earth we have. The theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2020 is “Our solutions are in nature“.

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Bouncing Back or Bouncing Forward: Shaping a post-pandemic Society

tralian Bahai CommunityThe Australian Baha’i Community invites you to an online webinar where noted Australian author and sociologist Hugh Mackay AO will explore the lessons we have learnt from the pandemic, and the ways we might change as a result, on Friday May 29th from 12:30pm.

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2020 World Interfaith Harmony Week Winners

World Interfaith Harmony Week LogoEach year, the King of Jordan, King Abdullah II – who introduced the World Interfaith Harmony Week resolution to the United Nations General Assembly – awards prizes to the best World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrations worldwide. Last year, this prize was won by the Interfaith Centre of Melbourne.

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A post-COVID Recovery for people & the Earth

arrcc logoThe Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) advocates that Australian governments respond to the science of climate change in the way they have responded to COVID-19. This would mean stimulus spending on climate-conserving, low-carbon options, many of which are deployment ready, economically cheaper and more employment-intensive than fossil fuel-based industries which are declining and come with huge and costly environmental consequences.

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