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National meeting of religious leaders held in Auckland - 15 November 2017

National meeting of religious leaders held in Auckland - 15 November 2017

The Religious Diversity Centre organised a meeting of national religious leaders from a range of different faiths, in Auckland on 15 November. Archbishops and other leaders from various Christian denominations, as well as representatives from Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Baha’i, Buddhist, Jewish, Latter Day Saints and the Ratana Church communities were present.

The group confirmed their commitment to respecting religious diversity in New Zealand, ensuring that people of all faiths can live in harmony. In addition, the leaders shared the following concerns which need urgent action:
- The growing levels inequality and poverty in New Zealand, which can only be solved through addressing structural issues.
- The need for increased levels of training for teachers to feel confident in bringing religious diversity education into classrooms. By improving understanding of each other’s commonalities and differences, we will be able to increase religious harmony in New Zealand.
- The importance of recognising the climate crisis as an urgent issue for human beings which impacts the well-being of everyone on the planet.

The leaders are already working within their own faith communities to implement solutions to these issues, but call for wider collective action and advocacy. Lasting solutions require action from central and local government as well as from civil society.

The Religious Leaders committed to working together to provide leadership at a time of global turmoil, and look forward to meeting regularly to achieve these and other aims.


Religious leaders from a wide range of faiths, at a national meeting in Auckland on 15 November called for a humane resolution to the situation in Manus Island and Nauru.

Asylum seekers must be treated with dignity and given a chance to live in safety and freedom. The leaders support the offer of relocating 150 refugees to New Zealand and are willing to help with resettlement efforts as needed.

Irrespective of any political and religious differences, we are facing a humanitarian crisis in the Pacific region, and we need to come together to resolve this issue.

Jocelyn Armstrong, Chairperson, Religious Diversity Centre Trust, Phone 09 521 4367   027 521 4367
The Rev Prince Devanandan, President, The Methodist Church of New ZealandPhone 021 168 6279

The 2018 National Interfaith Forum in Christchurch has been cancelled

​The 2018 National Interfaith Forum in Christchurch has been cancelled

Next year's Interfaith Forum, which was to be hosted by the Christchurch Interfaith Society in March 2018, has been cancelled.
Due to unforeseen changes in their personnel, the Society is no longer able to host an event of this scale, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We will keep you posted if any other city offers to host a Forum next year.

Toronto, Canada Named Host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in November 2018

​Toronto, Canada Named Host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in November 2018

Toronto - acclaimed the most diverse city in the world and home to six million Canadians - has been chosen as the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened from 1 to 7 November 2018.

More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.

Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, modern Parliaments have attracted participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations to its international gatherings in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), and Salt Lake City (2015). These Parliament events are the world’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive gatherings of the global interfaith movement. Professor Mark Toulouse, Co-Chair of the host committee, believes that “the selection of Toronto was a perfect match for the Parliament.”

More information is available here