Religions for Peace Australia resolved at the recent Annual General Meeting on Sunday 6th June 2021, to write to the Prime Minister. One of our RfPA network roles is to assist with multi/intra-faith matters and social cohesion across the nation. In this regard, we raise three matters with the Prime Minister: Bringing Australians Home, the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Financial Support during Future Lockdowns.
Australia is once again facing uncertainty about the future of Covid 19, the security of home and employment, the frailty of the aged and the messy spread and contagion of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Religions for Peace Australia has prepared a video of faith leaders from many traditions offering prayers for a time of uncertainty and Community Challenges.
Pax Christi Australia – in collaboration with Religions for Peace Australia, jointly presented “Truth Telling in Australia” which was given by Sherry Balcombe, of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry. This session was recorded at Kildara Centre, Stanhope St, Malvern on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Religions for Peace Australia gives one message about the Common Good and the need for vaccination, in order to protect the entire community we call home. We understand vaccine hesitancy. People have various reasons for being hesitant. However, for the Common Good of the Australian community, as your interfaith leaders we want to encourage you all to be vaccinated as soon as possible, each one of us. We urge all faith leaders to take action and promote the Common Good.
Religions for Peace Australia presents an overview of the Multifaith and Interfaith History of Australia, delivered by Emeritus Professor Desmond P. Cahill, OAM. This presentation commences with the history of the Macassans visiting Australia and their interactions with indigenous peoples. Colonialisation and European settlement and the dismissal of indigenous presence and spirituality in this land is related.
Religions for Peace Australia has produced a series of video outlining issues around Covid 19 and multifaith matters. In this video, Rev. Chris Parnell, Interfaith Minister, gives an overview of mental health issues, faith and spirituality addressing mental health and references a simple strategy and further resources for mental health.
Religions for Peace Australia presents Racism in times of Covid-19, an account of racism and extremism in times of pandemic. This video – delivered by Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill, OAM, touches on many bases and causes of racism generally, in addition to addressing far-right extremism in Australia, which has undoubtedly contributed to this issue.
On 10 May 2021, the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism in partnership with Religions for Peace Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum hosted the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture at the Theo Notaras Centre. The lecture was given by the indigenous Senator, Sen. Patrick Dodson. The topic addressed by Senator Dodson was Reconciliation and Multifaith: Aboriginal Worldviews and the Christian Heritage.
Religions for Peace Australia will conduct its Annual General Meeting reporting for the year 2020, online, on evening of Sunday 6 June 2021 at 7pm. The Guest Speaker is Dr Anne Pattel-Gray , of Australia First Nations Program – World Vision Australia, is the first indigenous person to be awarded a doctorate in theology in the 1990’s. The meeting will be online, all are invited. The title of Dr Anne Pattel-Gray’s talk will be Walk Alongside to Build Religious Inclusivity and Acceptance.
The Aussie Camino is a picturesque pilgrimage inspired by Australia’s only saint, Mary MacKillop. The Way is from Portland, Victoria to Penola in South Australia, places associated with St. Mary McKillop of the Cross.
The Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of St James”, is a network of routes across Western Europe leading to the resting place of the apostle Saint James the Great.
While Caminos traditionally lead travellers to a place of spiritual significance, many of their walkers are not religious. Most are, however, open to soul-searching.
The Australian Research Council has funded a university based survey on the experience of LGBTIQ people in Australia and Religious Freedom. It is an important survey and will map out future needs for religious freedom and practice by LGBTIQ people and to survey the path to practice of their faith in Australia without discrimination.
Religions for Peace Australia will conduct Interfaith Prayers for Australia online, on Sunday 18 October 2020 at 5PM AEDT. Religious leaders from many faiths will be presenting prayers. All are welcome to attend. A zoom link is given below for this event. All are welcome and join in the prayers for the welfare of our nation.
Religions for Peace Australia resolved at the recent Annual General Meeting to write to the Prime Minister – and relevant minister for Aboriginal Affairs – with regard to the First Nations Peoples of Australia. These include the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a Makarrata Treaty and a Voice in Parliament for the First Nations.
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.
When 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.
The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission jointly delivered a position paper on Freedom of Religion in Australia: a focus on serious harms online, on 1 July 2020. The Position Paper concludes with several recommendations as to how governments in Australia can improve protections for the right to freedom of religion in Victoria and Australia.
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.