New Zealand: Special Classes on the world’s major religions announced

The Religious Diversity Centre of Aotearoa New Zealand has announced the first Programme in its ‘Raising Religious Literacy’ series beginning on February 13, 2017 and concluding on December 14, 2017. The Classes will be offered over four terms in Auckland and Hamilton.

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Australia: Celebration of Interfaith Dialogue

World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) couldn’t have come at a better time.  With the recent US travel bans against countries that are predominantly Muslim and persecution of faith groups including Christians at an all-time high; it sometimes feels like there is a war on religion as a whole.

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Inquiry into the status of the human right to freedom of religion or belief

The Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into the protection and promotion of the human right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide, including in Australia. The Committee is at present accepting submissions until 10 February 2017.

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Australia: Interfaith cooperation in action at Mount Isa, Queensland

mtisa

A single beige demountable fitted with not much more than an air conditioner, a few chairs, and a patchwork of woven mats turned to face Mecca has become an outback symbol of religious hope. The Good Shepherd Catholic church in the remote Queensland mining town of Mount Isa has offered space in its parish building to the local Islamic community for use as a prayer room.

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Countering Violent Extremism Requires a Whole-of-Community Approach


Countering violent extremism in Australia is a difficult task, fraught with political, cultural and religious sensitivities, exacerbated by social tensions and lack of understanding across various communities. One unintended consequence of the desire to secure our nation has been to heighten these tensions and divisions in many communities across Australia.

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Western Papua – Christian – Muslim Conflict



A 15 year old boy, Endi Wanimbo, has been shot dead and 11 others injured when police fired on a religious congregation in Karubaga, Tolikara district, West Papua on 17 July. There was a protest by a Christian congregation about the broadcast of Eid Prayers from a nearby mosque drowning out the Christian service. Police attended and there was one boy killed. So far no person has been named or arrested for perpetrating death or injury.

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Australia: Islam and the Media



The Australian Prime Minister can be a rhetorical wrecking ball, but in no case has his lack of subtlety been more damaging than his remarks about Muslims. The media doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook, either. Journalists have to cover this story, but at times parts of the media have inflamed fear and mistrust. In turn, many Muslims have come to mistrust and fear the media.

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