International: Environment Protection and Law of the Sea



All peoples and governments have a common imperative to protect and preserve our planet, according to Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. He noted that commercial activity with regard to using the seas and marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction will likely increase exponentially in coming years.

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Tasmania: April 2018

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Greetings of peace!

Our gathering for April will be to honour Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust, by a visit to the Hobart Synagogue, 59 Argyle St, Hobart. Although Yom HaShoah is commemorated on Thursday 12 April, our visit will be held on Sunday 15 April at 3.00pm. We are meeting outside the Synagogue at 2.55pm and Daniel Albert, whom many of us know, will be our guide.

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Yom Ha’Shoah: Letting Go at Auschwitz-Birkenau: Lessons from a Zen Peacemaker Retreat


As the son of Holocaust survivors, with virtually every member of my family having been either a victim or survivor, I ruled out the possibility of ever visiting a concentration camp. Doing so would be emotionally off the charts. That all changed when I learned about a five-day Zen Peacemaker retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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Religious freedom in Germany


Does Islam have to be compatible with the German constitution, as the AfD is demanding? The question is pointless: the constitution requires nothing of the sort – from either Muslims or Christians, writes Dieter Grimm, former Judge at Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court.

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Israel: Study Scholarships

The Leo Baeck Centre offers details of a scholarship to study in Israel that may be of interest to prospective students. The scholarship was established in the memories of the late Hon. William Kaye AO, and the late Henrietta Kaye AM, long-standing members of the Leo Baeck Centre, and also long-time supporters and members of the Council of Christians and Jews Victoria (CCJ Vic). Judge Kaye was CCJ Vic Chairman for many years.

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​Rome: 2018 Summer School in the Christian Sciences

The Pontificia Universita Urbaniana of Rome is organising an initiative for the summer of this year (2018). It is a Summer School in the Christian sciences open for university students or graduates who come from contexts of different religious traditions (non-Christian), aimed at providing a basic knowledge of the Christian culture. The courses provided are at a university level, given by lecturers of the same Pontificia Universita Urbaniana.

This Summer School will be held from July 2 to July 30, 2018 on the Campus of the University at Via Urbano VIII, 16, Rome. The Urbaniana University is pleased to offer these courses for free.

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Indonesia and the Future of Islam


Bernard Adeney-Risakotta, Professor of Religion Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Java, presented at a Religions@Deakin Seminar in Melbourne, recently. He told that the center of Islam in the world today is neither Saudi Arabia nor the Middle East. Rather, it is Indonesia. Indonesia is the most important country in the world about which most people know practically nothing. Just as the center of Christianity is no longer in Europe or North America, but has shifted to the Southern Hemisphere, so the center of Islamicate civilization has shifted from the Middle East to Asia.

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Religious Freedom Review Extended

On 22 November 2017, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion. The Panel received more than 16,000 submissions from individuals and organisations between 14 December 2017 and 14 February 2018. In recognition of the significant public interest in this important topic and following a request from the Expert Panel, on 20 March 2018, the Prime Minister announced an extension to the Panel’s reporting date until 18 May 2018.

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Pope Washes Feet of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians in Prison

In keeping with his practice during each year of service as Pope, Pope Francis on Holy Thursday, March 29, 2018, washed the feet of prison inmates during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

The inmates chosen for the ritual of the washing of the feet were 12 men from seven countries: four Italians, two Filipinos, two Moroccans, one Moldovan, one Colombian, one Nigerian and 1 from Sierra Leone. Eight were Catholic; two were Muslims; an Orthodox and a Buddhist.

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PNG: Design of Baha’i House of Worship Unveiled



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — In a historic event earlier today, the design for the national Baha’i House of Worship of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was unveiled. The House of Worship will be one of two national Baha’i temples to be constructed in the world in the coming years, signifying a new milestone for the Baha’i world community.

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Sikh Environment Day



March 14 is an important day for Sikhs as it marks the enthronement day of seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is remembered for his love for nature and care for animals. He is perhaps the first environmentalist in the South Asia who during his reign from 1644 to 1661 started and promoted herbal gardens and wild life refuge. EcoSikh has been facilitating the celebration of this day as Sikh Environment Day since 2010.

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DOHA – Final Declaration on Religion and Human Rights


The 13th International Conference for Interfaith Dialogue on the topic of Religion and Human Rights was held in Doha on February 20 and February 21, 2018. The conference entitled “Religions and Human Rights”, was held with the participation of a group of two hundred and thirty-nine (239) scholars from the three monotheistic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as well as participants from Qatar.

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