Regional Interfaith Dialogue and this website

The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was held in Yogyakarta from 6-7 December 2004 and hosted jointly by Australia and Indonesia

  • The meeting was an initiative of the then Foreign Ministers of Australia and Indonesia, Mr Downer and Dr Wirajuda, which they announced in July 2004.
  • The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was established with the aim of promoting understanding and tolerance between the faith groups of South-East Asia and encouraging religious leaders’ roles in strengthening mainstream voices within their respective communities.

Following the inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue, New Zealand and the Philippines joined Australia and Indonesia as co-sponsors.

Subsequent Regional Interfaith Dialogues (RID) were held as follows

  • the 2nd RID was hosted by the Philippines in Cebu in March 2006
  • the 3rd RID was hosted by New Zealand in Waitangi in May 2007
  • the 4th RID was hosted by Cambodia, with Australia’s support, in Phnom Penh in April 2008
  • the 5th RID was hosted by Australia in Perth in October 2009.
  • the 6th RID was hosted by Indonesia in Semerang in March, 2012.

Each RID results in the development of a ‘Declaration’ by delegates, setting out agreed outcomes and recommendations for action.

RID participants are drawn from the major faith groups of the co-sponsoring countries, the remaining eight ASEANs, East Timor, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The 5th RID had the theme ‘Future Faith Leaders: Regional Challenges and Cooperation’.

One of the Perth Declaration’s key recommendations was to establish an interfaith website.

Purpose

Purpose of the Regional Interfaith Website

 

The aim of establishing the Regional Interfaith Network website is to invite and enable people from different faiths from around the region to learn of the advances in interfaith practice. The website will provide a communication tool for faith leaders and communities engaged in interfaith dialogue, including delegates who have taken part in previous Regional Interfaith Dialogues, to share ideas, experiences and examples of successful practice in educational interfaith resources, activities and events. The website will also encourage faith and interfaith organizations to explore and develop partnerships in promoting interfaith dialogue at the local, national and regional levels.

History

The Regional Interfaith Network (RIN) website was established in Melbourne, Australia in December 2010 following a unanimous recommendation made at the 5th Regional Interfaith Dialogue held in Perth, 2009. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, sought proposals from various institutions to establish and maintain the Regional Interfaith Website and subsequently awarded the project to the following consortium:

Australian Multicultural Foundation

The organization was established in 1989 to promote a strong commitment to Australia as one people drawn from many cultures.

www.amf.net.au

Religions For Peace

Formerly known as the World Conference of Religions for Peace (Australia) is Australia’s largest community based organization working for inter-religious harmony and social cohesion.

http://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/

The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne

Founded in 2000 as an educational and cultural non-profit organization whose mission is to promote understanding and respect among the world’s religious and spiritual communities.

www.interfaithcentre.org.au

Islamic Council of Victoria

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) is the peak body for Muslim organizations in Victoria. Among the ICV’s many aims is the promotion of understanding, co-operation, tolerance and respect between all faiths.

www.icv.org.au

The consortium thanks the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the initial resources to establish this website.