World Council of Churches

todayRefugees assume serious risks in trying to reach safety. At the same time, fears arise in European countries concerning the stability of societies and their ‘way of life’. These fears are increasingly used and manipulated by populist, nationalist political movements stoking the fire of insecurity and xenophobia. The so-called refugee crisis is treated as a security issue rather than a humanitarian one, and this has to be challenged; this is preventing progress gives reason to the fear people have, as real needs are not met, writes the Luntern Conference of the World Council of Churches.
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PM holds national Iftar in Sydney

turnbullPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney, a first by an Australian Prime Minister. The invited guests included Muslim leaders and young activists from all states as well as interfaith representatives from Sydney. Mr Turnbull greeted Muslims saying, “I am honoured to be the first Australian Prime Minister to host an Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. To the approximately five hundred thousand Muslim Australians across our country and to more than one and half billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan Kareem.”

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Islamic Scholar: There is a cancer in our midst

cancerIslamic Scholar Dr. Al-Ninowy of Medina Institute and head of six seminaries, has told: Yet again we find ourselves condemning the irrational and ungodly actions of a madman who was misguided by a wicked and corrupt social and/or political ideology that twists and misinterprets Islam to justify what can only be termed as satanic actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones during this moment of intense sadness.

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Sacred Earth, 2016

sacred earthLast December, representatives of 196 nations did something they’d never before been able to accomplish before. Gathered in Paris, they reached an international agreement on climate change. Together our faith communities were at the heart of making this happen. But there is still more to do. Sacred Earth is a worldwide spiritual event taking place on June 12, 2016. There are events in Australia. This event spans many faith traditions.
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Refugee Week: Australia’s Migration and Australia’s welcome

refugeeweekRefugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 19 June to Saturday, 25 June, 2016. In observance of Refugee Week, the Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with GOTAFE Multicultural Education Centre will present a seminar and discussion on Australia’s Migration and Australia’s Welcome at the Harder Auditorium on Tuesday 21 June, 2016.

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The Month of Ramadan

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Ramadan did not become a religious obligation for Muslims until the year 624. The obligation to fast is explained in the second chapter of the Quran: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint … Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran … and so, in the year 2016 the Muslim communities of the Goulburn Valley commence the month of Ramadan.
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Refugee Week Movie: Desert Flower

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Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad is an autobiographical book written by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller, published in 1998 about the life of Somali model, Waris Dirie. In 2009, a german movie adapation was made. This movie will be screened free during Refugee Week 2015, and is sponsored by the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Alliance Advisory Committee.

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INTERVIEW: Humans Become God? Yes, It’s Catholic Theology

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A new book, Called to Be the Children of God: The Catholic Theology of Human Deification, offers essays from more than a dozen Catholic scholars and theologians to examine what this process of “deification” means in their respective areas of study. ZENIT asked editor Fr. David Meconi, S.J., to tell us about this doctrine, which might sound anything but Catholic, and about the book.

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Work and Faith – a (free) lunchtime conversation series

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Lunchtime Conversations: These are Conversations with business leaders from different faiths – towards understanding the different faiths in the workplace. The conversation will take place over lunch with guest speakers and opportunity for Q&A. Hear from local Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu speakers talk about their work and the faith dimension.

  • Dates:
  • Thur, 19 May, 12 – 1, Million Chilli Restaurant
  • Friday 20 May, 12 – 1, Aloi Thai Restaurant
  • Friday 27 May, 12 – 1, Phillipines House
  • Cost: Free!
  • Limited to 20 places
  • More Information:
  • Chris Parnell:5821 3483
  • Sam Atukorala:5831 2395

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Learning from Buddhist Meditation

meditatioThere’s no shortage of press touting the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. It’s increasingly popular in clinical therapy and for managing everyday stress. But what does science say about the centuries-old spiritual practice? And equally, what can the ancient Buddhist tradition teach neuroscientists about the brain? In an effort to find out, a group of meditation practitioners, psychologists and neuroscientists gathered together for a weekend Zen retreat in rural New South Wales.

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Interview with the Islamic theologian Hamideh Mohagheghi


MohagheghiWith the recent rise in Islamophobia across German – and the wider European – society, the Islamic theologian Hamideh Mohagheghi warns against retreating from the debate. Now is the time for Muslims to practise their faith in confidence, step forward and speak out. Interview by Canan Topcu of Qantara.de
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