2021 World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture

World Interfaith Harmony Week Logo - smallThe Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism in partnership with Religions for Peace Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum present the 2021 World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture at the Theo Notaras Centre, Canberra on Monday 10 May, 2021. Speaker will be Sen. Patrick Dodson, and the topic will be Reconciliation and Multifaith: Aboriginal Worldviews and the Christian Heritage.

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Quarantined Faith

Quarantined FaithDuring the COVID-19 quarantine in Italy, religious gatherings are suspended. How do Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Buddhist Romans cope with losing connection with their communities and traditions at a time they need them most? Featuring interviews with religious leaders and laypeople who explain how their communities “virtually” observed Passover, Easter, and Ramadan this year in Rome, this documentary is a testament to how they maintain resilience and connectedness, and how the crisis has called them to draw more deeply on their spiritual resources.

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ACT: Celebrate International Day of Yoga

Celebrate International Day of YogaIntegrated Cultures ACT Inc. (ICACT) (Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate) and Integrated Women’s Network (IWN) invite you to a series of weekly talks by Yoga practitioners and teachers from 12.55pm for 1 pm start in the lead up to International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2021.

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Victoria: Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival

Victoria: Buddha's Day & Multicultural FestivalFo Guang Shan Melbourne and BLIAV (Buddha’s Light International Association of Victoria) are pleased to present the annual Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival returns to Federation Square on Saturday 15 May and Sunday 16 May 2021 with an explosion of culture, entertainment, traditional Buddhist ceremonies, meditation, lion dances, children’s activities and so much more!

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Care for Environment: Islam

Kaaba at MeccaAccording to Islamic law, the basic elements of nature – land, water, fire, forest, and light – belong to all living things, not just human beings. Allah commands human beings to avoid doing mischief and wasting resources as these acts cause degradation of the environment. Here we bring you excerpts from the Qur’an and Hadith on care for the Environment, the Statement on fossil fuel divestment by the Fiqh Council of North America and the Green Ramadan movement.

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Meditate in May

Meditate in MayThe Art of Living is offering 31 days of free meditations during the month of May, 2021. This will be 31 Days of free live guided Meditations. You will meditate with expert meditation teachers, learn simple breathing techniques and receive Community Support to get you started on your meditation journey and with three meditation slots per day, you can join in whenever and wherever you are.

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History of Yoga Films

Vishuddi FilmsIn the lead up to International Day of Yoga, Vishuddi Films have prepared a series of video on the History of Yoga in four languages. History is traced from the times of Harappa civilisation. The story moves to explore the elements of Yoga in the times of Veda, Jainism, Buddhism, and several other doctrines. It takes you through the delightful journey of 3000 years of developmental history of Yoga up to the medieval ages.

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Facebook accused of not removing hate speech in complaint under Australia’s racial discrimination laws


The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network alleges the social media giant allows ‘anti-Islam’ pages to host hateful content about Middle Eastern, African, South Asian and Asian people

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Buddhism in the Sea of Islands webinar series

The Humanistic Buddhism Centre, Nan Tien Institute, together with colleagues from Deakin and Western Sydney universities, are hosting a series of webinars to explore Buddhism in Pacific contexts. The webinars will run from June through to October 2021.

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Call to Release the Panchen Lama

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today reiterated its call for the Chinese government to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, one of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience. On May 15, 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama chose the then six-year-old Gedhun to be the 11th Panchen Lama. Three days later, Chinese authorities kidnapped him and his family. He has not been seen or heard from since.

The second highest lama in Tibetan Buddhism is the Panchen Lama. The title Panchen Lama, meaning “great scholar,” was bestowed by the Fifth Dalai Lama on a tulku who was fourth in a lineage of rebirths, and so he became the 4th Panchen Lama.

The current Panchen Lama is the 11th. However, His Holiness Gedhun Choekyi Nyima (born 1989) and his family were taken into Chinese custody shortly after his recognition was made public in 1995. The Panchen Lama and his family have not been seen since. A pretender appointed by Beijing, Gyaltsen Norbu, has served as Panchen Lama in his place.

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South Australia: The festival of Ridvan

tralian Bahai CommunityThe period 20 April – 1 May is observed by the Bahai Community as the Festival of Ridvan. This is the Baha’i commemoration of the twelve-day period that Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith, spent in the Garden of Ridvan in the last days of his exile in Baghdad, and publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age. The first, ninth and twelfth days are celebrated as holy days. The Prime Minister has sent one message to the Baha’i community in Australia.

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Afghanistan War Crimes – Australian Quakers

Quakers Australia logoThe Presiding Clerk of Australian Quakers has written to the Prime Minister relating to the Brereton Report and alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. Given the significant involvement of Australia in Afghanistan over many years, Quakers Australia believe a thorough and strong response is warranted. The people of Afghanistan deserve nothing less after the suffering they have endured.

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German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed 9 April 1945…

Dietrich BonhoefferIn this blog post – transcluded from the World Council of Churches, Presbyterian Minister Theodore Gill pens a remembrance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, of the German Confessing Church, who was executed on 9 April 1945. The poem begins with the question all humans must ask: Who am I? in order that they might know who they are before the Divine.

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Ramadan is a time of restraint and renewal, of emptying-out and filling-up

Sighting the Moon

The first Ramadan began with a man climbing a rocky mountain and retreating into a tiny cave. He sat there, alone, for a month of fasting, meditation, reflection, and prayer, as he had many times before. He was trying to distil the mysteries of the universe, compassion, and the knowledge of God.

Somewhere during the last ten days of that month, the angel Gabriel — the same angel that visited Mary in the Gospels — appeared to this man in his cave and had an exchange with him that would change his life, revolutionise his society and affect the world forever. It was also an exchange that gives us profound lessons about the nature of our physicality, and the connection between our bodies and divine inspiration — lessons that have resonated through every Ramadan since.

When the angel Gabriel (Jibreel in Arabic) first spoke to Muhammad, he ordered him to “Recite!” Muhammad, understandably terrified at the sudden appearance of a supernatural being, replied he neither knew how to recite nor what to recite, which indeed was true. While public oral poetry was very popular and highly prized during his time, he, an illiterate man, was not known to have ever come up with as much as a single line of verse in his life.

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What do the 5 great religions say about the existence of the soul?

Three Candles

A recent survey found almost 70% of Australians believed in or were open to the existence of the soul — meaning they believe we are more than the stuff out of which our bodies are made.

The soul can be defined as the spiritual or non-material part of us that survives death.

Western pop culture is currently bewitched by what happens to us after death with TV shows such as The Good Place and Miracle Workers set largely in the afterlife. And the Disney film Soul depicts the soul of a jazz pianist separating from his earthly body to journey into the afterlife.

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