Queensland Faith Communities Council Inaugurated in Brisbane

Queensland Faith Communities Council Inaugurated in Brisbane

News Release

 

Where in the world could you see fifteen faith groups publicly join together in mutual respect to advance interfaith understanding and build a stronger community? The answer:  Brisbane, Australia at Griffith University’s Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue (ICD).

On 23rd May 2017, the Queensland Faith Communities Council (QFCC) was officially formed, representing an exciting milestone in the cause of supporting and protecting freedom of religion and conscience in that diverse state. The newly formed council membership includes:

  •  Anglican Diocese of Brisbane
  • Buddhist Council of Queensland, Inc.
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Hindu Council of Australia
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness
  • Islamic Council of Queensland, Inc.
  • Nematollahi Ghadeer Ali Shahi Sufi Order
  • Pagan Hearth, Inc.
  • Queensland Churches Together
  • Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, Inc.
  • Queensland Jewish Community Services, Inc.
  • Sikh Nishkam Society of Australia
  • The Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is in Brisbane, Inc.
  • The Uniting Church in Australia (Queensland Synod)
  • Two Foundation Affiliate Members: Believing Women for a Cultural of Peace and the Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue 
                         

The QFCC took root from a seed planted 18 months ago in November 2015 by a small group of inter-faith friends who wanted to consider the possibility of forming an umbrella multi-faith organisation in Queensland. Nurtured by their commitment to work in unity, this seed has grown into a timely reaffirmation of the value in respecting the rich diversity of faiths practiced in Queensland. 

Official statistics for the state reveal an increasingly multicultural society speaking more than 220 languages, practicing more than 100 religious traditions and coming from over 200 countries. Against this backdrop of religious and cultural diversity and their associated challenges, the interfaith group met to work out how to establish a state-wide voice of faith on matters such as freedom of religion and conscience, interfaith understanding, social justice and inclusivity. Their efforts led to the development of a formal constitution and operational guidelines for the QFCC.

In his keynote address at the official launch of the QFCC, the Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service, Ian Stewart, APM, stated: “The extent to which we are willing to accept into our society those who come from other cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds is a measure of our Australian values…. this includes ’giving everyone a fair go’ and respecting the rights of those who want to live in a safe, peaceful society, enjoying all of our foundational freedoms and the rule of law.”

                                               

The interim chair of the QFCC management committee, Ms Margaret Naylon (Executive Officer of the Council for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Relations in the Catholic Archdiocese) outlined the vision and mission of the new organisation, “We are a Queensland network of faith communities committed to advancing interfaith understanding and collaboration and to making a positive contribution within the broader community.”

Julie McDougall (Director of Multicultural Affairs Qld) noted that the formation of the QFCC indicates its members have a shared commitment to mutual respect and building of a united and harmonious society. She also observed that the QFCC enables individual members and groups “… to join together with a united voice to speak out against violence and discrimination in the community.”

                                                 

Elder Keith Walker from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attended the opening ceremony with his wife Marilyn. He remarked on how pleased he was that the LDS church is an active partner in founding and “supporting the operational functions of the Council. As a church, we are committed to strengthening religious freedom and building…collaboration through trust and good works, as well as overcoming religious prejudice and misrepresentation of faith, beliefs and practices.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who sit on the interim management committee of the QFCC include Evelyn Ray, Lyn Wroe, and Mathew Glen.

 Visit Queensland Faith Communities Council website at https://qldfcc.org.

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