APRO, the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations, will conduct a forum on 7 May 2014 at Parliament House, NSW, on the topic of Religion in 21st century Australia and Inter-faith relations in 21st century Australia.
Purpose:Australia is a country that has an extraordinary level of religious diversity. The recent release of the 2011 census data has confirmed that nearly 70% of all Australians continue to profess a religion. This 70% is made up of adherents of a multitude of different faiths, and present indicators suggest that faith will continue to play a vital role in the lives, and the identities, of many Australians well into the 21st century. At the same time, the number of Australians, and especially young Australians, who identify as having no religion has increased dramatically.
The growing diversity and complexity of Australian religious and spiritual life give rise to a range of challenges both for public policy-makers, and for faith communities themselves. These include the place of religion in the public square, the extent and limits of religious freedom, the need to promote “religious literacy” and combat religious prejudice and discrimination, and the challenge of building a united community in which all Australians can make a valued contribution.
This one-day forum will provide a timely opportunity to advance discourse on a range of issues related to the role of religion in Australia in the 21st century. It will bring religious and community leaders together in exchange of views with government officials, academics, and interested community members.
The forum will be hosted by the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO), a peak body established in 2003 to help build interfaith harmony in Australia.This forum will also formally mark the tenth anniversary of the formation of APRO, the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations.
APRO is unique in that it comprises representatives of major religious bodies as well as national-level multicultural and interfaith community organisations and academics with expertise in inter-faith and intercultural relations. Member organisations include the National Council of Churches in Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Muslims Australia (the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils), the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, the Australian Sangha Association, the Hindu Council of Australia, the Australian Bahá’í Community, and representatives of the Sikh community in Australia.
APRO – Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations