USCIRF Urges Thailand and Malaysia to Protect Rohingya Muslim Refugees Stranded at Sea

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the governments of Thailand and Malaysia to admit boats carrying Rohingya Muslim refugees stranded at sea.

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Refugee Week Forum – Refugee reflections: Building resilience and belonging

Refugee Week Logo The Victorian Multicultural Commission is conducting a Refugee Week Forum – Refugee reflections: Building resilience and belonging online on Friday 26 June at 11:00AM. The Victorian Multicultural Commission invites you to join them for an insightful conversation about refugees, resilience and belonging.

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Community and faith leaders are helping stop the spread of coronavirus

 Community and faith leaders are helping stop the spread of coronavirusCommunity representatives and leaders have been providing guidance to their communities, colleagues, families and friends. They have played an important role to date and we are calling upon them to continue their efforts.

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On World Refugee Day, “Every Action Counts”

World Refugee Day LogoOn 20 June, World Refugee Day will be observed with the theme “Every Action Counts” by all who are striving for a more just, inclusive, and equal world. The UN Refugee Agency, in a Global Trends report released this week, indicates that 1% of all of humanity is displaced. That is 79.5 million people fleeing conflict, violence and persecution worldwide.

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World Unity Week

World Unity WeekWorld UNITY Week is a stop along the road and a “birthing space” for a larger-scale global celebration across Peace Weekend 2020 (September 19-21), centred on the annual U.N. International Day of Peace (September 21). World Unity Week is a celebration of interfaith harmony, appreciation of the Earth’s gifts and resources, and promotion of Open Space for dialogue and exchange.

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Russian priest who called coronavirus a ‘pseudo-pandemic’ seizes convent

Father Sergei Romanov

A rogue Russian priest who denies the existence of Covid-19 has seized a convent in the Urals region and announced he will only be removed by force.

Father Sergei Romanov stormed the Sredneuralsk convent this week, after being banished by church leaders in April for protesting the closure of churches due to the coronavirus epidemic, which he called a “pseudo-pandemic”.

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Islamic Council of Victoria launches Caring for Muslim Patients Handbook

Islamic Council of VictoriaThe Islamic Council of Victoria yesterday launched the “Caring for Muslim Patients Handbook” in its third edition. Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission conducted the book launch. Proper care of Muslim patients often arises in rural and regional healthcare centres where this is not a significant migrant and settlement populations. Such publications are important for excellence in health care in both urban and regional/rural centres.

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60 Years of Christian Unity – Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity logoIn the field of multilateral relations, the major partner of the Catholic Church is the World Council of Churches (WCC). Founded in 1948, it is the broadest and most inclusive ecumenical organization, bringing together 350 Christian denominations including Orthodox, Lutherans, Reformed, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists as well as United and Independent churches. Altogether they represent over 500 million Christians worldwide.

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Vatican document on integral ecology: Safeguarding Creation is everyone’s responsibility

integral ecology: Safeguarding Creation is everyone’s responsibilitySeveral Vatican offices teamed up to release a document entitled “Journeying for the care of the common home”, which offers a guide to all Christians on how to maintain a healthy relationship with Creation. This was given on the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si” (Praise Be) calling on the world to act to stop the human destruction of the planet.

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International Day of Yoga – 21 June

International Yoga Day LogoInternational Day of Yoga celebrates the physical activity known as yoga practice in the Western world. Whereas it originated in India to enable flow of energy through meridians in the body – as part of spiritual practice and efficacy – yoga today is principally recognised for the asana poses that that those who go to yoga classes to practice. The theme of International Day of Yoga for 2020 is Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.

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The Future is Cultural Equity

ArtsHub logoMulticultural Arts Victoria CEO Veronica Pardo has written in Arts Hub on the importance of a recovery based on cultural equity, as a way of addressing the substantive underrepresentation of people of colour and culturally diverse people in the arts. More than that, however, and equitable, representative and inclusive sector has the power to shift the dial on racism, and how we see ourselves as Australia. This is a powerful call to the arts sector to commit to the fight for racial justice.

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Submission to Senate Select Committee Inquiry into COVID-19

Religions for Peace Australia Logo

On 8 April 2020, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on COVID-19 to inquire into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee is to present its final report on or before 30 June 2022. Religions for Peace Australia has made a comprehensive and wide-ranging submission to the Select Committee.

Read moreSubmission to Senate Select Committee Inquiry into COVID-19

Dalai Lama: Only Genuine Compassion Will Do

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai LamaIt’s not sufficient, says the Dalai Lama, to simply think that compassion is important. We must transform our thoughts and behaviour on a daily basis to cultivate compassion without attachment. Before we can generate compassion and love, it is important to have a clear understanding of what we understand compassion and love to be.

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Tasmania – June 2020

Tasmania Logo

Greetings of peace! Hoping you are all keeping well and warm and absorbed in the task of sending thoughts of peace to the troubled world.!

Friday 5 June 2020 is UN World Environment Day.  To honour the day and to create an opportunity to practise dadirri (deep listening to Country), Kris Schaffer has very kindly invited us to Potter’s Hill at South Arm.

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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.”

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