A GLOBAL MOVEMENT
The interfaith movement is an expanding movement within most nations and among people from most religious traditions.
This interfaith movement is a product of and a contributor to the globalisation of human life, wellbeing and destiny. The North Brisbane Interfaith Group is one very small player in this expanding movement. Indeed there are many other interfaith groups in Brisbane and throughout Australia. However, we all recognise that we are involved in a global movement and that we all have a contribution to make to its purposes and goals.
While the interfaith movement rightly seeks to cross many of the boundaries that keep us apart from one another, it does not and must not seek to destroy or replace any of those deeply held religious beliefs that are at the heart of many people’s personal and communal identities.
The principle of freedom of religion is one of the foundation stones on which interfaith relations rest. Freedom of religion involves freedom from all forms of, discrimination, vilification, persecution and violence. It also involves preserving the freedom to practice one’s own religion and to change one’s religion in ways that are free from coercion, manipulation or force.
At its deepest level, the bedrock on which all interfaith activities rest is a genuine and unshakable embracing of difference as a fundamental defining characteristic of human nature.
Rabbi Jonathon Sacks articulates this very clearly.
“..difference is the source of value, and indeed of society itself. It is precisely because we are not the same as individuals, nations or civilizations that our exchanges are non-zero-sum encounters. Because each of us has something someone else lacks, and we each lack something someone else has, we gain by interaction. That is what makes trade the most compelling counterforce to war.”
Jonathon Sacks: The Dignity of Difference, Continuum, 2003, pp 14, 15