Bishop defends Pope Francis in the dialogue between religions

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The Archbishop of Vasai supports the ‘Document on Human Fraternity’ signed in Abu Dhabi. Asserting the importance of dialogue between religions “does not mean renouncing one’s own identity”. Pope Francis “is not changing any Catholic doctrine”. At the same time, “The encounter with the religious other is an undeniable reality and it is important to insist on listening to the experience of the other.”

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UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites

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United Nations Alliance of Civilisations LogoAmidst a global call by Secretary-General António Guterres to “reaffirm the sanctity” of religious sites and keep worshippers safe, the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) on 12 September 2019 launched a new plan of action to “counter hate and violence around the globe”. The plan outlines a wide array of recommendations, such as for the UN to develop a global communications campaign to foster mutual respect and understanding; for States to create multi-disciplinary national plans anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to prevent violent extremism; and for religious leaders to regularly engage in interfaith dialogue.

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Worshipping safely: UN, faith communities unite to prevent violence

Sacred book in a churchIn an era in which places of worship have become, too often, targets for violence, United Nations officials and religious leaders gathered in New York City on 19 September to talk over plans for preventing attacks against people of faith.

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Evangelical Church in Germany advocates for boat rescue of refugees

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Citing an “appalling record” of failure to rescue refugees at sea, the Evangelical Church in Germany, along with other faith-based and civil society groups, are calling for better solutions.

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Religious and Indigenous Leaders United to Protect Rainforests

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative Delegation with indigenous youth leaders Rainforests provide millions of people with food, shelter, livelihoods, medicine and clean water. If protected and restored, rainforests can provide an indispensable contribution to sustainable development. Instead, they are at grave risk.

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Religions for Peace Advances Interreligious Alliance between Myanmar and Indonesia to Respond to Regional Challenges

Religions for Peace Indonesia A 12-member delegation consisting of senior Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu leaders from Myanmar has travelled to Indonesia for a historic visit facilitated by Religions for Peace (RfP)International at the invitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. The delegation met with H.E. Vice President Jusuf Kalla as well as leaders of the Interreligious Council of Indonesia-RfP, consisting of Indonesian Ulama Council, Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Catholic Bishops Conference, Communion of Churches and Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian Associations.

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‘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.

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Pope’s new cardinals reflect his vision for a Church of dialogue

Pope Franics in St Peters SquarePope Francis almost didn’t get to announce his thirteen new cardinals on Sunday. For 25 minutes before the Sunday Angelus, he was stuck in a lift before the Holy See’s firefighters came to rescue him.

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South Sudan Council of Churches convenes first assembly eight years after independence

South Sudan CrossThe South Sudan Council of Churches, an ecumenical body of seven members and two associate members, held its first General Assembly since the independence of the largely Christian and animist country in 2011.

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