Saudi Arabia again leads interfaith understanding — this time on its own soil

Participants attend the “Common Values Among the Followers (RNS) — Until recently the recognition of any religion other than Islam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was rare, and anyone practicing another faith was “vulnerable to detention, harassment and, for noncitizens, deportation,” according to the U.S. Office of International Religious Freedom.

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Josie Lacey honoured in NSW State Parliament

Josie Lacey honoured in NSW State ParliamentConvenor of the NSW Branch of Religions for Peace, Josie Lacey AM, has been honoured in the NSW parliament for her service to the community and to interfaith activities. NSW Labor frontbencher Walt Secord has hosted a special event at State Parliament where he addressed the parliament paying tribute to Jewish communal leader Josie Lacey.

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2022 Backhouse Lecture – Quakers Australia

Quakers Australia The Backhouse Lectures are public lectures on contemporary issues delivered annually at the national gathering of Quakers in Australia. They were initiated by Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) on its establishment in 1964. Friends from both Australia and overseas have presented lectures. The 2022 Backhouse Lecture, Working for Justice in a Warming World, will be presented by Yarrow Goodley on Monday 5 July at 7.15pm via Zoom.

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Bravo! Des Cahill

Bravo! Des Cahill Des Cahill has been Chair, Religions for Peace Australia, since 2001. At the recent 9th Asian Conference of Religions for Peace General Assembly, Des Cahill was elected Moderator of the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace, unanimously, by the 22 member nations present. In this article, Maria Minto Cahill – wife of 44 years – gives an account of the history of Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill and Religions for Peace Australia.

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Online Course: The Philosophy of Gandhi

MK GANDHIAs part of the commemoration of 75 years of India’s independence an online course on the philosophy and teachings of Mahatama Gandhi will be offered during July. Places are limited, those interested should apply soon. The participants will be awarded certificates digitally signed by High Commission of India and Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna

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NSW: Interfaith Symposium – Faith, Social Cohesion and Community Resilience

Religions for Peace InternationalAffinity Intercultural Foundation and Macquarie University recently conducted an interfaith symposium “Faith, Social Cohesion and Community Resilience” addressing issues around faith communities and the experience of Covid-19. Moderator of the Asian Conference on Religions for Peace (and President, Religions for Peace Australia) Emeritus Professor Des Cahill gave one address to the symposium on the topic of COVID-19: Impact, Responses, Learnings and Ongoing Challenges for the World’s Faith Communities in Australia.

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Buddhist and Catholic, priests and theologians practice ‘double belonging’

Statues of Buddha and Jesus.
Statues of Buddha and Jesus. Photos via Unsplash/Creative Commons

(RNS) — In a dimly lit Roman Catholic church in Manhattan, a dozen or so congregants sit as the Rev. Michael Holleran leads them in contemplative prayer. There is some singing, and some prayers said aloud throughout the hour-and-a-half-long worship service. Every so often Holleran rings a bell three times, meant to awaken worshippers from “sleep and into a consciousness of God’s presence.”

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Buddhist leader in Bhutan fully ordains 144 women, resuming ancient tradition

Ordination of 144 Buddhist nuns in Bhutan(RNS) — On Tuesday (June 21), the Je Khenpo, the senior Buddhist authority in Bhutan, began ordaining a group of 144 women as bhikshunis, or female monks, at the Ramthangkha monastery in the tiny Himalayan country. Damcho Diana Finnegan, an American Tibetan Buddhist nun, called the ordination ceremony ‘a major step towards ending the institutionalized inequality between men and women in Tibetan Buddhism.’

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Faith leaders join forces to condemn alleged mosque attack in Victoria

Damage at mosquePoliticians, community and faith leaders from across Victoria have come together at a mosque east of Melbourne to show their support after the prayer hall was allegedly vandalised. Charges have been laid against eight suspects after the property was damaged last weekend.

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Preventing and Responding to Family Violence: A Faith Leader’s Practice Guide and Toolkit

Preventing and Responding to Family Violence: A Faith Leader's Practice Guide and ToolkitSisters4Sisters Support Services – with support from the Women’s Information and Referral Exchange and other family violence specialist organisations, including consultation with members from Victoria’s diverse faith communities, have produced Preventing and Responding to Family Violence: A Faith Leader’s Practice Guide and Toolkit, a broad and wide-ranging guide for Faith Leaders in responding to family violence. Specialist input was given by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), affiliate researchers, and strategies from specialist CALD and LGBTQIA+ family violence organisations. The guide is available for download.

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UNHCR and Religions for Peace: Refugee Week 2022

UNHCR logoRefugee Week in Australia is from Sunday, June 19 to Saturday, June 25. Here, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asked the Multi Religious Leaders Council about the value of all faiths to welcome the stranger. Theme of World Refugee Day for 2022 is the right to seek safety.

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Victoria parliament passes bill banning Nazi swastika

Parliament House Melbourne

Victoria has become the first Australian jurisdiction to ban the swastika, with those who defy the ban to face jail terms and hefty fines.

It is now a crime to intentionally display the Nazi swastika in Victoria. Anyone who displays the symbol could face a year in jail.

An exemption is in place for religious groups who used the symbol before the Nazis.

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Australian Muslims ‘devastated’ by Saudi Arabia’s new Hajj pilgrimage lottery

Kabaa by night

Saudi Arabia’s new visa lottery system has thrown Australian Muslims’s Hajj plans into chaos.

The rules changed overnight, forcing many to cancel their flights and hotel bookings.

Saudi Arabia says the lottery system is designed to crack down on Hajj-related scams.

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Victoria: Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Act (2021)

Parliament of VictoriaFrom 14 June 2022, (in Victoria) religious organisations and schools will no longer be able to sack or refuse to hire people based on protected attributes such as sexuality, gender identity or marital status. Religious organisations and schools will only be able to make employment decisions based on an employee’s religious beliefs where these are inherent to the job such as a religious studies teacher, and the discrimination is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

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10th anniversary of the NSW chapter of Religions for Peace

The NSW Branch of Religions for Peace Australia celebrates 10 years – a decade of holding its events and proceedings in the State Parliament. Talks are given by Hon. Walt Secord, Shadow Minister, and Peter Wertheim, co-Chief Executive Officer, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

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