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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“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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“World Leaders Must Act Now in the Face of Climate Emergency” – Message from the Faith-Based Organizations To the High-Level Ministerial Segment of COP25

cop25-logoIf the world is to address the climate emergency, every person must be involved in a transformation on many levels, notes a message from the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the UN climate talks this week. Speaking on behalf of Faith Based Organisations in Madrid for the United Nations Conference on Climate change, the message led by the World Council of Churches told – inter alia – “We call for systemic, cultural and spiritual transformations that may be translated into changes in the ways we live, produce and consume.”

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Pontifical Academy for Life hosts interreligious discussion on palliative care

Vatican flag flies above St PetersVatican City, Dec 12, 2019 / 04:56 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life held an international symposium this week on medical ethics and palliative care, hosted together with the WISH initiative, a part of the Qatar Foundation. The Dec. 11-12 conference included presentations by representatives of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism on the topic of medical ethics, palliative care, and the mental health of the elderly.

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Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Archbishop PalagiaVatican City, Dec 11, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone dying from assisted suicide, and that he does not see that as lending implicit support for the practice.

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Vatican: Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue Meets with World Council of Churches

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue LogoThe Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue hosts a one day meeting aimed at enhancing interreligious solidarity in the service of a vulnerable and wounded humanity. The Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Ayuso, tells, We are called to collaborate in healing the wounds of our humanity.

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Serving a Wounded Humanity: Towards Interreligious Solidarity

shaking hands with the popeThe World Council of Churches (WCC) Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue met on 10 December to reflect on their next joint project entitled “Serving a Wounded Humanity: Towards Interreligious Solidarity.”

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Australia: Second Draft of Religious Freedom Bill released

religious freedomThe Morrison government has made 11 changes to its proposed religious freedom legislation in a bid to minimise dissent and secure its passage through Parliament early next year. But the changes largely heed the concerns of churches and religious groups and have been panned by the Greens and LGBTIQ groups as increasing the potential for discrimination.

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Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change for COP 25 Madrid, 2019

On the penultimate day of COP 25, a sign in the corridors reminds delegates of the urgency of reaching a positive outcome.


The most recent Climate Change Conference – called COP 25 – concluded yesterday in Madrid, Spain. Faith Communities, including the Brahma Kumaris and Religions for Peace International (both of whom have offices in the UN plaza in New York) (with a large delegation from the Lutheran World Federation) joined together with many faiths, many voices to produce a Faith-inspired declaration on Climate Change. This was delivered to the Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by the World Council of Churches – in service and on behalf of all faith communities. The document is called Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change for COP 25 Madrid, 2019 . You may read this document in full:

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Australia: 2019 Human Rights Day Oration

Australian Human Rights Commission LogoThe Hon Peter McClellan AM QC delivered the 2019 Human Rights Day Oration. His co-orator was Ms Chrissie Foster, mother of two girls who experienced child sexual abuse. “I cannot comprehend how any person, much less one with qualifications in theology and very often further qualifications from recognised universities, could consider the rape of a child to be a moral failure but not a crime,” The Hon Peter McClellan said.

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Religious leaders keep vision of peace alive on Korean Peninsula

Participants of the Steering group meeting of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace on the Korean PeninsulaEven as international tension mounts, religious leaders from North and South Korea renewed their exchange during a December meeting that kept the push for peace alive. Members of the Steering Committee of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula – including delegations from the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of North Korea and of the National Council of Churches in South Korea (NCCK) – met in Shenyang, China, on 2-3 December 2019.

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Interfaith group delivers message to COP25

Rev. Henrik Grape, moderator of the WCC working group on climate changeIf we should be true to our faith, we cannot be quiet when we see what is happening,” reads the declaration of the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to the United Nations climate change summit COP25 taking place in Madrid, Spain, 2-13 December. “We are voices that are driven by hope and compassion. In a most urgent situation to bend the emissions down faith traditions must contribute to the urgent transformation.

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