Newsletter 02 Mar 2022

Kia ora koutou, warm greetings to you all. 

For our Christian friends, today is Ash Wednesday which marks traditionally the beginning of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This year, this day coincides with the beginning of the Baha’i fasting.
In fact, the next weeks are important for many religions and faiths.
The RDC calendar has dedicated the month of March to the Zoroastrian tradition of their Angel of Water.
If you would like to learn more about it, listen to Farida Master who explains this tradition in a video-clip which is available on the RDC Facebook page and Website.

We are happy that the RDC Climate Change Advisory Group that was set up last year is going to continue its work of looking for ways that can bring hope for positive change in preserving the environment. Their work in 2021 resulted in a Statement to the Government that was endorsed by Religious Leaders and Interfaith Groups of Aotearoa New Zealand and presented to Minister James Shaw to take to COP26 in Glasgow.
There is more information on these initiatives on the website.
Recently, Dr Paul Blaschke reflected on the work of this Advisory Group in a conversation with Beate Matthies. The recording of this conversation and a video-clip on the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam are available on the website.

Peace, respect and understanding is so important. In our family and community, as well as in this country of Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.
There are three initiatives for peace we would like to mention in this context:

  1. Walk for Peace
    Temel Atacocugu, a Turkish man who was shot nine times in the mosque attack in Christchurch has started his 360km Walk for Peace.
    He is planning to retrace the journey the gunman took but to have a very different intention. He has a “Give a Little” page dedicated to three children’s charities; any money donated will be split evenly between them.
  2. World Day of Prayer
    World Day of Prayer is an international movement of Christian people in many different traditions that have a continuing relationship of prayer and service. It was begun by a group of women in the United States in 1887 and has grown to include over 180 countries and regions worldwide. Every year, on the first Friday of March, they organise a global day of Prayer for Peace. This year it will be held on 08 March.
  3. Prayers for Ukraine
    Interfaith Scotland and the Scottish Catholic Bishop’s Committee for Inter-Religious Dialogue invite us to join them, and to join with millions of others across the world, to pray for peace on Wednesday, 02 March, 7.30pm – which will be 03 March, 8.30am NZ Time. The link for this prayer service is on our website.

The Religious Diversity Centre

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