Interfaith Forum in Sydney: Standing Together, United for Peace

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Interfaith ForumThe panel discussion: (from left to right) moderator Jeena Joyan, Father Bower, Greg Johns and Imam Afroz Ali

On February 15, an interfaith forum titled “Advancing Australia Fair: Standing Together, United for Peace” was held at the SGI-Australia (SGIA) Culture Centre in Sydney. The forum was organized by the Sydney branch of SeekersHub Global, a non-profit Islamic educational organization, and attended by over 50 people.

On the interfaith panel were Imam Afroz Ali of SeekersHub Global; from the Anglican Church of Australia, Father Rod Bower, Archdeacon of the Central Coast, New South Wales; and Vice General Director of SGIA Greg Johns.

The forum began with speeches by the three panellists. After a poetic presentation about Australia and its history by Father Bower, Imam Ali spoke about the importance of recognizing our shared humanity and the action needed to move forward as a nation and as individuals. Concluding the presentations, Greg Johns touched on the fact that Australian society was recently shaken by  the December 2014 Sydney hostage crisis, and spoke about the need to empower individuals to become model leaders capable of responding to the poor leadership in politics, media and business through dialogue based on hope.

A discussion was then held on themes raised in the speeches and wider issues regarding the future of humanity which was followed by a Q & A session. The need to continue such interfaith exchanges and provide a platform for dialogue was agreed by all participants.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-Australia (SGIA); photos courtesy of SGIA]

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