In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, religious leaders urge “concentric circles of peace”

hypocentre of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki.

Religious leaders in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are welcoming the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even as Japan’s Christian council “regrets” that the government has not supported or ratified the treaty.

“We ask the government of Japan to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty as soon as possible,” the National Christian Council in Japan said in a 27 January statement, saying that the treaty “collects the wisdom of humanity,” and is “a major step in humanity’s long walk toward hope and ideal.”

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

You are cordially invited to join us for the first Australia-wide commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January at 7pm. Join the Jewish Communities and Museums of Australia to heed the action to shine our own ‘light’ on intolerance and injustices that continue to prevail.

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Dandenong Ranges: Hindu Temple to be reconsecrated

Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple in The Basin

As part of Hindu tradition, a Hindu temple is renovated, refurbished and reconsecrated every 12 years.

In the Dandenong Ranges, the Hindu Temple at The Basin is being reconsecrated on Monday, 25 January 2020. Covid-19 protocols will be followed, as more than 2,000 people are expected to attend and actively participate. Social distancing protocols will be followed.

After $4 million of renovations, the Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple in The Basin is having its status as a holy site restored with the return of sacred statues.

These statues, known as deities, can usually only be touched by priests. As part of the temple’s reconsecration celebrations, rank-and-file devotees have been given a chance to apply oil to them.

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The Faravahar: The Ancient Zoroastrian Symbol of Iran

The FaravaharThe Faravahar is arguably the best-known symbol of the Persian Zoroastrian faith. This symbol consists of a winged disc with a man emerging from it. The man is shown holding a ring. Whilst the symbol is well known, the meaning behind it is more complicated. The Faravahar was adopted as a secular symbol to represent the modern nation of Iran.
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Volunteering: Resilience, Relief and Recovery

Parliament HouseVolunteering Australia has made a pre-budget submission to the Federal Government, giving the report on research into volunteering in Australia and the impact of Covid-19 on volunteering. The submission makes several recommendations to the Federal Government, which is acting in train to establish a national resilience and recovery entity in the light of the Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendations.
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Treaty Ban on Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear ban now in force

The Shepparton Interfaith Network seeks to promote (and achieve) harmony, co-operation and understanding among the faith communities of the Goulburn Valley. We also actively promote and seek peace in our region, as shown by our fulsome support of the Picnic 4 Peace event over its many years of celebration of World Peace Day.

Peace on Earth is also our shared aspiration. To this end, we support an end to war, and the nuclear weapons ban treaty. There is no Planet B. Our planet – our home – cannot afford nuclear testing (it poisons the environment) nor nuclear war. Hence, we bring you this Entry-into-Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, brought about by an Australian organisation that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017: the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

In October 2020, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons acquired its 50th ratification, triggering its entry into force 90 days later. This entry into force occurs on Friday the 22nd of January, 2021. That is the day nuclear weapons will be illegal under international law.

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VIC NAIDOC hosts 2021 Day of Mourning Dawn Service

Day of Mourning Dawn Service The Victorian NAIDOC Committee will host a Dawn Service at Kings Domain, Melbourne, on 26 January 2021, at 5AM. The Shepparton Interfaith Network holds that Australia Day will be the day Australia formally becomes a Republic. Until then, we may live in a creative tension and tolerance with ourselves and the indigenous communities of Victoria. We pray Australia Day will be a day that brings PEACE to all.
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Shepparton: Buddhist Meditation, January 2021

Lotus

The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley in collaboration with the Shepparton Interfaith Network will conduct one Meditation Session on Saturday, 23 January 2021 online using Zoom, at 10:00 am. All are welcome. The meditation is led by a Buddhist Monk.

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Sikh volunteer group recognised as ‘Australian Human Rights Heroes 2020’

Sikh Volunteers Australia The Melbourne-based non-profit organisation, Sikh Volunteers Australia has been handpicked as one of the Australian Human Rights Heroes for the year 2020 for providing free food to the communities during catastrophic bushfires and the various stages of COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria.
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International Effort Underway to Establish Tolkien Center Author’s Famed House

Tolkien HouseJ.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Catholic. People from around the globe, including a list of Hollywood stars, have joined with award-winning author Julia Golding to launch a crowdfunding campaign to try and save 20 Northmoor Road, the Oxford house in which famed Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, in advance of its being put on the market for sale.
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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

WHEN: Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. In the southern hemisphere, where January is a vacation time, churches often find other days to celebrate it, for example around Pentecost, which is also a symbolic date for unity.

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Dalai Lama’s reincarnation included in Congress’ $900 billion COVID relief bill

His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama,New legislation passed by the U.S. Congress reaffirms the rights of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, imposing sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials if they attempt to intercede in the process.
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Orthodox Christmas – Celebrate Safely Message

Very Reverend Dr Michael Protopopov OAM

Victorian Multicultural Commission and Very Reverend Dr Michael Protopopov OAM of the Orthodox Church give messages about celebrating Orthodox Christmas (7 January) safely, in the midst of non-local Covid-19 outbreak.

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Torah: Where is Humanity

Torah: Where is HumanityThis week’s Torah portion, Sh’mot, begins the well-known narrative of Israelite enslavement and redemption from Egyptian bondage. On face value, it tells us of God’s saving power at our greatest moment of need. However, within the twists and turns, we discover the Exodus narrative is as much about absence as it is about action.
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