‘Life-changing experience’: Ten Aussie Muslim schoolgirls tackle the Kokoda Track

Students at Kokoda Track

The famous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea had some special guests in June this year, as a group of Muslim-Australian schoolgirls from Melbourne’s North walked the trail. Gokhan Ozkan, Pastoral Care Director at Sirius College in Broadmeadows accompanied the girls and says “it was a life-changing experience for the girls.”

Most Sirius College students are Muslim but the school is a mixed-gender, non-denominational independent school. The ten girls from nine to 11 years and six staff, traveled to PNG in late June and completed the 96-kilometre trail in eight days.

Read more…‘Life-changing experience’: Ten Aussie Muslim schoolgirls tackle the Kokoda Track

Golden Rule Day

Golden Rule Day imageThe Golden Rule is ancient and modern, secular and religious, personal and common. Golden Rule Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and celebrate the universal principle of treating others the way that we want to be treated. It is a powerful tool for all of our relationships – with ourselves, others, animals, and the planet.

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New survey reveals which religions New Zealanders trust most – and least – after Christchurch shootings

al-noor mosque Christchurch

In a survey of 1000 New Zealanders, taken a month after the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019, respondents were asked how much they trusted people from different religious groups living in New Zealand.

Read more…New survey reveals which religions New Zealanders trust most – and least – after Christchurch shootings

An inside look at interreligious reconciliation

Rabbi David RosenRabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), has been advancing understanding and good relations between religious communities for more than 40 years. He has been involved in this area from the time he served as rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Africa, during his tenure as chief rabbi of Ireland and throughout more than 30 years based in Jerusalem.

Read more…An inside look at interreligious reconciliation

Religious freedom summit opens with stories of religious violence and resilience

Ministerial Advance Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON (RNS) — The rabbi of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, site of an October mass shooting, tries to avoid using the word “hate” and wishes others would do the same.

A Muslim man who lost his wife in the March attack on his New Zealand mosque urges love for every human being.

A Christian woman from Sri Lanka hopes religious leaders will remain compassionate even in the wake of terrorist bombings that killed Christians attending Easter services in the spring.

All three spoke at the opening of the State Department’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on Tuesday (July 16). They shared first-person stories of violence against houses of worship — and resilience of survivors — that help fuel the department’s goal to enhance religious liberty across the globe.

Read more…Religious freedom summit opens with stories of religious violence and resilience

Untold story of brutal rise of militant Buddhism: ‘It is our duty to fight’

Monks in Sri LankaGINTOTA, Sri Lanka: The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.

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Concern and Solidarity for West Papua: The World Council of Churches Executive Committee Statement

World Council of Churches

World Council of Churches

The World Council of Churches Executive Committee issued a statement on 23 May expressing concern and solidarity for the people of West Papua who are facing violence and human rights violations.

In February of 2019, 23 members of an ecumenical Pilgrim Team visited four separate locations in West Papua in what is believed to be the first time that such a large and diverse international delegation has visited the territory since its integration into Indonesia in 1969. Observations by the Pilgrim Team indicate persistently high levels of violence and human rights violations, including recently in the Nduga Regency resulting in the displacement of many people from remote communities in this Highlands Region.

Read more…Concern and Solidarity for West Papua: The World Council of Churches Executive Committee Statement

Extremists Won’t Hinder Interfaith Dialogue

Nazareth


Interfaith dialogue is a necessity in our age. In a world suffering from armed conflicts, diplomatic standoffs and trade wars, cooperative and constructive interaction between people of different religious traditions is fundamental to solidifying peace and stability, and stemming racism, xenophobia, radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism.

Read more…Extremists Won’t Hinder Interfaith Dialogue