Guidance Documents for Religious Leaders

Guidance Documents for Religious LeadersReligions for Peace International have teamed up with UNICEF to provide guidance documents for religious leaders in this time of worldwide pandemic. At this moment of crisis, these thematic guidance documents have been prepared to guide religious leaders and faith communities on the key issues and actions that they can take in preventing and addressing the diseases and its secondary effects. ​The documents have been prepared based on official technical materials from UNICEF, WHO and IFRC and informed by the existing Faith-Based resources.

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Meditations for a Time of Isolation

peaceful garden

People react to situations and enclosure differently. Some go within and reflect; others go out and spend energy, and thus, recharge themselves. Still more get out and walk, and notice their environment mindfully. Those who need contact get onto the electronic devices and get facetime with their cherished. More get out in the garden, the green-fingers! There are those who look to others for help and guidance. Here, we bring you a selected series of meditations for your ease and reduction in anxiety and fear: S/he who manages their mind manages their anxiety and fear – and create a positive environment for self and others. We offer this to you for your exploration, sample, and peace.

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Interfaith Prayers for Coronavirus Lockdown

Interfaith Prayers for LockdownWhen the government and community leaders seek to provide protection for the community, and isolate some – or all – of a community, there comes a time when people begin to have strong feelings and need support. While those giving support are blessed and appreciated, here, we bring you prayers and meditations from many different religions for your engagement and reflection during this time of isolation and lockdown.

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Lockdown and Mental Health: Meditation and The Sanctuary Experience

Mental HealthIn times of lockdown – and hard lockdown, mental health is most important for those living in lockdown – especially hard lockdown. The Brahma Kumaris commumity of Australia has produced a series of meditations which may be of help in bringing peoples to inner stillness. We take a look at The Sanctuary Experience and how it can help people in lockdown.

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Earth Overshoot Day for 2020

Earth Overshoot Day 2020

Churches are coming together to toll their bells and hold prayer services to mark Earth Overshoot Day. The tolling bells will warn demise for God’s Creation as we know it on Earth – if we do not repent but instead continue down the destructive path that we have been following.

This year Earth Overshoot Day will fall on 22 August. To maximise publicity about this solemn milestone day, church bells will toll shortly before midday on Friday 21 August to alert people to Earth Overshoot Day the next day.

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanity’s demands for ecological resources (fresh water, fish, forests, etc), exceeds what the Earth can renew in a year.

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Religion and ceremony: Regional Victoria stage 3

Wedding Ceremony

You cannot attend a religious service – the Victorian Government encourages you to use online services instead to engage people in worship.

Weddings can have a maximum of five people (the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant).

Funerals will be restricted to 10 mourners plus people required to conduct the funeral. You can travel to attend a funeral.

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Honouring the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Honouring the World's Indigenous PeoplesThe World Council of Churches will join many in honouring indigenous communities across the world on 9 August. Designated by the United Nations as “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,” this year the day is particularly honouring indigenous people for seeking unique solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for leading the way in sustainable living in a post-COVID-19 era.

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World Council of Churches: Joint interfaith statement calls for rejection of nuclear weapons

nuclear warheads

On 6 August, a “Joint Interfaith Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” was released, reaffirming the existential threat to humanity that nuclear weapons pose.

The interfaith group normally delivers a statement during review conferences of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, the postponement of the 2020 conference due to COVID-19 inspired the group to instead develop a common response to the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The statement is signed by 189 organizations, including the World Council of Churches.

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Government assistance for temporary and provisional visa holders – coronavirus (COVID-19)

Live in Melbourne

A range of government assistance is available to temporary and provisional visa holders impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information please contact the agency responsible or visit the website listed.

The range of assistance available includes,

  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
  • Face masks and coverings
  • Temporary changes to the Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme and the Working Holiday Maker visa program
  • Support for job seekers
  • Support for renters
  • Support for International Students
  • Relief payments for temporary visa holders
  • Support for multicultural and multifaith families
  • Relaxation of work hours for international students working in medical and disability sectors
  • Support for public housing and people experiencing homelessness
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health workforce response
  • Hotels for Heroes
  • Support for Businesses

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75 Years since the Hiroshima Bombing

Hiroshima bombing

The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only uses of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. It was passed on 7 July 2017. In order to come into effect, signature and ratification by at least 50 countries is required. As of July 2020, 40 states have ratified the treaty.

Religions for Peace Australia seeks peace in Australia, and peace on Earth. To this end we strive to build strong interfaith relations, promote cooperation, harmony and understanding among the faiths in Australia and seek to build same in all states and in Parliament House, Canberra, by observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week. Here, the Chair of Religions for Peace Australia gives reflections on 75 Years since the Hiroshima bombing.

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Interfaith Open Letter to Prime Minister

ICANThe Interfaith Open Letter in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is sent this day to the Prime Minister of Australia and all Members of Parliament. This letter has been signed by 58 faith organisations in Australia and represents an important initiative towards gaining Peace on Earth.

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Kindness and Love in a Time of Separation – Perspectives from the Three Abrahamic Faiths

Join us at the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia in a free on line event on the theme, ‘ Kindness & Love in a Time of Separation – Perspectives From The Three Abrahamic Faiths’ on the afternoon of Sunday 9 August 2020. This is an online event, free.

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Tasmania – August 2020

Tasmania Logo

Greetings of peace! We hope you, your families and communities are safe and well! Many blessings for the festival of Eid al Adha, celebrated yesterday.

There has been an invitation from the President of the National Council of Churches Australia to dedicate tomorrow, Sunday 2 August, as a national day of prayer for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Children and Youth for Climate Justice

Children and Youth for Climate Justice Toolkit

The World Council of Churches releases a collection of curated resources to support churches, church-run schools, Sunday schools and summer camps in their ongoing efforts to promote care for children and youth through intergenerational climate- and environmental justice. The toolkit supports the Churches’ Commitments to Children, in which climate initiatives for and with children is an important pillar.

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In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Accord

As the world marks the 75th Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 2020, the world’s preeminent interfaith organizations are coming together through a multilateral accord and a special remembrance broadcast that aims to reverse the race toward mutually assured destruction.

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In Hope We Live

star of hopeIn this time of COVID and beyond, where we are told not to touch our own body, not to visit our beloved ones even when they are in hospital, not to bury our beloved once even when we know deep in our hurt that we will never see them again, life is becoming a solid war zone. In such a brutal time, the only way to have a peaceful life is to posses hope deep inside our heart.

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Auburn Gallipoli Mosque granted coronavirus exemption for 400 people to celebrate Eid-al-Adha

 Auburn Gallipoli MosqueAuburn Gallipoli Mosque has been granted an exemption to hold Eid-al-Adha prayers. NSW Health said exemptions were only granted in “exceptional circumstances”. It said the mosque had a thorough COVID-19 Safety Plan. The mosque will split attendees into four areas, with no more than 100 in each.

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