Diversity and tolerance celebrated at Parliamentary interfaith breakfast

ACU hosted the fourth Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfast today at Parliament House in Sydney.

Almost 200 guests attended, including more than 70 faith leaders and 40 parliamentarians.

Guests were joined by NSW Premier the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP and Opposition Leader Mr Luke Foley MP, each of whom spoke about the value of our multi-faith society.

Premier Berejiklian said we were fortunate to live in Australia – and that this type of gathering would not happen in many parts of the world. She said our strength rested in our shared values of diversity and inclusion.

The Leader of the Opposition said faith communities were an important part of our society, allowing the community to feel valued, supported and connected.

“Religion should always be a legitimate voice as a source of values within public life and within public affairs,” Mr Foley said.

"I think of what is so often challenged today in our country and throughout the West is the embodiment in public policy of values that derive from religious teaching and religious authority. It’s that that is under constant challenge and attack.”

Guests also heard from SBS World News journalist and news presenter Ms Janice Petersen who delivered the keynote speech. Ms Peterson spoke about the role of media in society and reporting of religion.

Leaders from five religions read prayers for wise deliberations and good government of the Parliament.

This year, parliamentarians had the opportunity to meet with leaders from more than 20 faiths – including various Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and other communities – to celebrate shared values.

ACU's parliamentary interfaith breakfasts have become a popular event on the calendars of both parliamentarians and the leaders of faith communities.

The event provides an opportunity for ACU to demonstrate our mission in action and our commitment to serving the common good. It is an opportunity to not only embrace and better understand our diverse faiths, but also to reflect on the important role that faith plays in our everyday lives and in our calling to serve the community.

ACU held its inaugural Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfast in Sydney in March 2014.  Subsequent breakfasts were held in Canberra in 2015 and 2017 and included addresses by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

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