Tasmania: February 2024

Tasmania LogoGreetings of peace and many blessings, especially for the new year 2024, with the Chinese New Year of the Golden Dragon, being celebrated on 10 February.

Greetings of peace!

Many blessings, especially for the new year 2024, with the Chinese New Year of the Golden Dragon, being celebrated on 10 February.

We are all continuing to grieve for those caught up in the horror of the Middle East bloodshed, those there in person and those caught up at a distance. Many people of faith are sending constant spiritual support to everyone trapped by the conflict, whatever the connection.

Although we pray for peace and wellbeing, many of us have been grieving the continuing violence in many countries around the world. Closer to home we have been mourning the tragic death of Deepinderjeet Singh at the end of January and offer loving thoughts and condolences to the Sikh community.

We are blessed with the spiritual hope that our faith traditions teach us and continue to pray for the well-being of one another in these very difficult times.



Holy Days in February 2024

Date Observance Faith/religion
10 February Lunar New Year Buddhism
14 February Ash Wednesday Christianity
15 February Nirvana Day Buddhism
24 February Magha Puja Buddhism



Second Multi-Religious Peace Roundtable Tokyo, Japan (19-21 February)

The Asian Conference of Religions for Peace Tokyo secretariat is pleased to announce that Religions for Peace International and Religions for Peace Japan, with the support of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) will convene diverse religious and faith leaders and actors, policymakers, and experts for the second Multi-Religious Peace Roundtable from 19-21 February 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. The second Peace Roundtable will build on the commitments made by leaders from the first Peace Roundtable.

Theme: “Beyond War and Toward Reconciliation: The Second Multi-Religious Peace Roundtable”

The Tokyo Peace Roundtable series serves as a crucial platform for fostering dialogue and collaboration among nations for global peace and stability. Against the backdrop of ongoing violent conflicts worldwide, the urgent need for new and renewed approaches to peacebuilding, led by multi-religious organisations and diverse religious leaders, remains vital and clear. This conference will focus on new strategies while building on past successes, emphasising the urgency of addressing global challenges and the unique role of faith actors.

Religions for Peace International and Religions for Peace Japan have set clear objectives for the Roundtable. These include identifying and assessing the specific roles that leaders from diverse faith traditions fulfill in war-torn and humanitarian contexts. The event will also evaluate various strategies employed by multi-religious platforms in reconciliation and rebuilding social cohesion efforts, with a focus on assessing the unique contributions of interreligious dialogue and action in forgiveness and reconciliation. The overarching aim is to glean valuable insights and lessons that can inform the process of effectively (re)building socially cohesive environments.

You can participate in the following programs online. (Please click the each session to register)

Opening Ceremony (19 February 2023, 13:30 – 14:00 JST)

Session II: Multi-Religious and Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Forgiveness  and Reconciliation (19 February 2024, 16:30 – 18:00 JST)

Closing Ceremony (21 February 2024, 14:30 – 16:00 JST)

Please visit Religions for Peace website for more information.



Sounding of the Peace Bell to celebrate the Year of the Dragon

Venerable Master Wang Xin De, Senior Gurus and TCBAA sangha members invite everyone to the proposed TAS Chinese Cultural Park of Australia, 1384 Tea Tree Road, Campania, TAS 7026, Australia at 10.00am on Saturday, 24 February 2024 to join in sounding the Peace Bell to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Register for this event here



World Interfaith Harmony Week: Religions for Peace Australia event in Parliament House Canberra on 28 February 2024

The statement of the UN WIHW Organising body for 2024 is ‘We must move beyond mere words of tolerance and acceptance. We must work towards harmony.’ (https://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/)

Religions for Peace Australia and the Canberra Interfaith Forum will hold a seminar in Parliament House, Canberra, to honour World Interfaith Harmony Week on Wednesday 28th February 5-7pm.

The event will be filmed and zoomed across Australia so branch and affiliate members across Australia can attend on-line or listen after the event. For information please contact Terry on 0438 069 728.

The topic for this year will be Steps leading toward Harmony.

It will be given by Professor Pal Dhall, a Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in both UK and Australia. He has held positions as Visiting Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Bioethics at the University of Canberra. Dr. Dhall served as Chair of the Education Committee of the Sathya Sai International Organization (a multifaith organisation). He currently advises Human Values organisations in Australia and India. Prof. Dhall has extensive experience in the teachings and ethics of the main religions of humanity and has experience integrating ethics and human values of mankind’s religions to create harmony and peace in society and culture.

This will be followed by faith representatives reading from scriptures on the topic. See more here



Military Security or Human Security? A vision for Australia today (29 February)

Pax Christi will conduct an interactive webinar as a first step to exploring a deeper conversation about our security as a nation. What will give human security as we step day by day into a future bounded by the uncertainty of AUKUS, ANZUS or any other pact we may have entered into as a sovereign nation? These, and other questions will be explored in an online webinar.

Thursday 29 February, 7.00-8.45pm. Cost: $10.00

Please register here at TryBooking: https://www.trybooking.com/COUXD
(Try Booking no longer works with Internet Explorer. If you are unable to open this link, use another browser …)



World Day of Prayer

(1 March 2024; St David’s Cathedral, Hobart 2 March)

The World Day of Prayer is an international ecumenical Christian laywomen’s initiative. It is run under the motto “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action,” and is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the first Friday in March. The movement aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common Day of Prayer, as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.

The prayer for 2024 is peace in the Middle East: https://www.worlddayofprayeraustralia.org/wdp2024/

In Hobart, there will be the celebration of the Ecumenical World Day of Prayer at St David’s Cathedral, 23 Murray St on Saturday March 2 at 10.00am.



Launch of NAYBA faith impact audit for Tasmania (5-7 March 2024)

We’ve spent the past 9 months traversing Tasmania to quantify the impact of the community services being provided by churches and faith-groups. Now we’re ready to present the final results, including a focus on what’s happening in specific regions across the state.

The audit will be launched in the north-west, north and south and attended by local Mayors and other civic leaders from across the region.

There will also be workshops to break down the findings of the audit to help envision the priorities that we, as faith leaders, should embrace. This process will be facilitated by NAYBA along with supporting organisations to help propel the faith traditions towards making an even greater and more enduring impact in our local communities.

If you would like to know more about the launches, please contact Tamara on tamaraespinet@nayba.org.



Stations of the Cross from Scots Memorial Uniting Church

Good Friday is on 29 March 2024.

Rev Rosalind Terry will lead the Stations of the Cross around the streets of Hobart starting from Scots Memorial Church 29 Bathurst St at 3.00pm. This is always a very moving experience. Check the weather and dress for comfort.



University of Divinity Raising our Tribal Voice for Justice: an indigenous theological revolution

(Conference held on 5-8 February)

This was the first-ever national ecumenical platform where Indigenous theologians from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific raised up their voices and challenged Churches across denominations to call their followers to action in addressing the injustice, inequality, and systemic failings of Churches history to protect, nourish, and benefit from Indigenous peoples and their knowledges.

The conference involved a lot of truth-telling.

First Nations people of faith are calling on the faith traditions to support their movement towards treaty: https://divinity.edu.au/university/school-of-indigenous-studies/conference-2024/

Indigenous spirituality gathering aims to help Christians echo truth and love (melbourneanglican.org.au)



Federal ban on Nazi symbols and actions

Publicly performing the Nazi salute and displaying or dealing in symbols like the swastika are now illegal acts, with landmark new laws now in effect. Under the counter-terrorism legislation passed by parliament last month, doing so is punishable by 12 months imprisonment. From Monday, the trade and public display of flags, armbands, T-shirts and insignia promoting Nazi ideology is illegal, as is the publication of symbols online. Read more here.

Nazi salute, hate symbols now outlawed in Australian-first



News Items:

Faithful Peace: Why the Journey to Build Resilience is Multi-Religious

‘Ceasefire now’: Australian Jewish group holds vigils for peace in Sydney and Melbourne | Israel-Gaza war | The Guardian

‘All faiths and none’: London peace march aims to ease Gaza tensions (msn.com)

Uprising in Tel Aviv! Thousands rise against Netanyahu’s government | Watch (msn.com)



Israel-Hamas: How the Gaza war is tearing Australians apart (smh.com.au)

Israeli lawyer arrested for peaceful protest leaves prison after 110 days (msn.com)

Shepparton domestic violence survivor Lutfiye Kavci shares her story to help empower others (msn.com)


The Ram Temple is about to open in India. Why is it making waves in Australia? | SBS Hindi

Baha’i Australians fear for loved ones as Iran’s persecution of minority ‘intensifies’ | SBS Persian

Hidden histories of British Muslim women revealed – BBC News

Caritas Australia at the first Faith Pavilion at COP28

In peace,
Convenor Religions for Peace Tasmania Branch
Convenor, Faith Communities of Tasmania
Phone 6272 6521



RfP Tasmania Branch