The Hunter Presbytery of the Uniting Church in Australia as well as individual congregations and church members, have written letters in support of plans for a new mosque in Newcastle. The long-held trust and friendship between the region’s Christian and Muslim communities has provided a point of difference to anti-Islamic rhetoric surrounding the proposal. Read the letter from Hunter Presbytery to Cessnock Council in support of the mosque application.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney, a first by an Australian Prime Minister. The invited guests included Muslim leaders and young activists from all states as well as interfaith representatives from Sydney. Mr Turnbull greeted Muslims saying, “I am honoured to be the first Australian Prime Minister to host an Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. To the approximately five hundred thousand Muslim Australians across our country and to more than one and half billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan Kareem.”
The Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Victorian Government tabled its final report on the End of Life Choices Inquiry in Parliament on June 9th. The 440 page report conveys the complexity of the issues under consideration.
Leaders have attended what the Prime Minister called a ‘loving’ commemoration service for victims of the Orlando massacre. Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy took time out from the election trail while Premier Baird, the NSW Governor David Hurley and the American Consul General, Hugo Llorens sat in the front row during the service led by the Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel. Opposition leader Bill Shorten was represented by Senator Doug Cameron.
Five days after 49 people were slain in the targeted terrorist attack on the LGBTI community in Orlando, Florida, Mr Turnbull hosted an Iftar fast-breaking dinner, a tradition of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at his official Sydney residence.
From Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis has commended the Pontifical Gregorian University’s recently created Centre for Child Protection (CCP) and expressed his hope that new graduates will be “brave and committed” to the prevention of sexual abuse of minors. On Tuesday, the first 19 students of the Centre’s new Diploma of Advanced Studies, “Safeguarding Minors” received their degree in a graduation ceremony in Rome.
The Victorian LGBTI community will come together at Federation Square on Thursday 16 June 2016 at 5pm, to stand in solidarity with Orlando and against hate and prejudice. A multi faith service will be held at 6pm at St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne.
The Archbishop was pleased to welcome more than 70 guests including the Grand Mufti of Australia and President of the Council of Imams, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed as well as many religious leaders and representatives.
“You are always welcome in my house!” the Archbishop expressed to his guests who represented faith traditions including the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist communities as well as other Christian churches such as the Orthodox, Uniting and Lutheran.
The High Court has thrown out a request to hear an appeal by opponents of Bendigo’s first mosque. Two Bendigo residents have been fighting the planned mosque, arguing the Bendigo City Council failed in their legal obligations to fully consider the social effect of the mosque.
With the month of Ramadan now underway, we asked some of the burning questions you might have about the holy month.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims. It falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Participants fast during daylight, and generally eat a meal before sunrise and after sunset, called suhoor and iftar.
The end of Ramadan Eid ul Fitr is marked with a large celebration.
In June we will be sharing in Multifaith events of two organisations. The first, Tierra Segrada or Sacred Earth, is a world-wide Multifaith day of prayer and action for the planet and a call to world leaders to commit to a 1.5 degree C limit on global temperature rise. This will be co-ordinated in Hobart by Marilyn Goninon at Scots Memorial Uniting Church, Bathurst St Hobart from 3.00-4.00pm on Sunday 12 June.
Secondly, we will share Tasmanians for Recognition’s Journey for Recognition to be held in Hobart from 12 noon to 2.00pm on 25 June on Parliament House lawns. There will be wet weather backup. There are a number of venues round Tasmania where people are welcome to join the Journey.
In Celebration of Refugee Week 2016, telling the story of getting here is most important. All stories are stories of the Divine. The remarkable documentary ‘Freedom Stories’ tells the heartening stories of people who arrived in Australia seeking asylum around 2001. This landmark feature documentary charts the challenges and successes of finding safety in Australia, and building a new life, while dealing with the feelings conjured up by what has been left behind. There will be a screening in Melbourne at the Lido Cinema, Hawthorn, on evening of Monday, 20th June, 7pm.