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Interfaith.Org.NZ

Interfaith Org NZ welcomes you in the spirit of understanding and cooperation between all of the faiths in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The website was started in the 1990s to support the sharing of news and events of interfaith groups throughout the country. In addition it has links to many other interfaith sites and resources, a multifaith calendar and a picture gallery of interfaith activities.

For more information about this site or to submit news and events, please contact Paddy Payne: info@interfaith.org.nz or +64 21 505 215.

 

  
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Extension of consultation period to 31 October 2020: Burials and Cremations

​Extension of consultation period to 31 October 2020: Burials and Cremations

The Ministry of Health has extended the consultation period regarding proposed options to modernise the legislation relating to death, burial, cremation and funerals in New Zealand. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the period for accepting submissions has now been extended until 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 31 October 2020.
We wish to thank those who have already submitted. Should you wish to provide any additional feedback, you are welcome to do so. Please provide any additional feedback to this email address, indicating whether it should be considered in line with an earlier submission.  
The consultation document and related survey can be found here: https://consult.health.govt.nz/environmental-and-border-health/death-funerals-burial-and-cremation/     

For more information contact The Burial and Cremation Team, Environmental and Border Health, Public Health, Population Health and Prevention, Ministry of Health burialandcremation@health.govt.nz

Survey on religion in New Zealand kura and schools

Survey on religion in New Zealand kura and schools

The Religious Diversity Centre invites you to participate in a brief survey on religion in New Zealand kura and schools. Your participation is voluntary and anonymous.  It will take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. 
The New Zealand Cabinet has agreed to the Religious Diversity Centre of Aotearoa New Zealand working with the Ministry of Education to start a conversation about the place of religion in New Zealand schools. The survey is part of the fostering of this conversation by seeking the views of New Zealanders on these issues. The findings will be passed on to the Minister of Education as he considers whether, and how to shift the emphasis of religion in schools from religious instruction to religious education/religious studies.
http://vuw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4T2uCCny0tM57eZ
If you have any queries or require further information please contact Professor Paul Morris – paul.morris@vuw.ac.nz or email RSNZS@RDC.org.nz

​Week of Prayer for World Peace - 11 to 18 October 2020

Week of Prayer for World Peace - 11 to 18 October 2020

The Week of Prayer for World Peace will be observed in New Zealand between 11th and 18th October. A leaflet has been produced by the New Zealand organising committee with prayers, readings and affirmations from many faiths to use each day. The theme of the leaflet is developed for worldwide distribution by the Week of Prayer for World Peace multi-faith committee based in Great Britain.

Religious communities throughout New Zealand are encouraged to  celebrate the Week both in their own observances and together with people of different faiths.  Leaflets may be ordered by sending a cheque made out to WPWP to: Week of Prayer for World Peace,
c/- Paddy Payne, 161 Seatoun Heights Road, Wellington 6022. Or internet banking to WPWP 06-0561-0072821-000. Or email WeekOfPrayer@outlook.com or phone 021-505-215

The cost of the leaflets is: 100 for $42;  50 for $26;  20 for $12.50;  10 for $7.50;  1 for $2.00 (all prices include postage and packing). For other quantities use price for next lower quantity  e.g. for 70, use price for 50 (0.52 per unit) = $36.40

Also, thanks to Ricky Waters (Coordinator of the Unitec Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team) for posting the readings each day to this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WPWPNZ2014

​EarthDiverse launches Term 3 Religious Diversity, Language and World Mythology courses

​EarthDiverse launches Term 3 Religious Diversity, Language and World Mythology courses

EarthDiverse is pleased to announce its Term 3 lineup of language, religious diversity and World Mythology & Storytelling courses beginning the week of Monday 27 July. Our World Mythology course is our newest offering this Term. Term 3 Registration for all of our courses is now available on-line at <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/registration/>. 

In addition to our in-person Hamilton classes, all of our classes (except for our Hebrew 201 and Te Awamutu courses) now have distance-learning options that allow students to either attend on-line live-streamed classes or watch the recorded video sessions so that you can learn at your own pace. These options now allow anyone from anywhere in Aotearoa to enrol in our courses. 

Language courses on offer this Term are:

Introductory Arabic 101: for beginning students. Starts Monday 27 July Meets Mondays 2:00-3:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/arabic/>.

Introductory Arabic 102: for continuing students. Starts Monday 27 July Meets Mondays 4:00-5:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/arabic/>.

Introductory Hebrew 101: for beginning students. Starts Tuesday 28 July Meets Tuesdays 11:00am-12:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/hebrew/>.

Intermediate Hebrew 201: for continuing students. Starts Wednesday 29 July. Meets Wednesdays 6:00-7:30pm for 8 weekly sessions.  "In-person" classroom option only. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/hebrew/>.

Introductory Hindi 101: for beginning students. Starts Thursday 30 July. Meets Thursdays 4:00-5:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/hindi/>.

Introductory Hindi 103: for continuing students. Starts Friday 31 July. Meets Fridays 6:00-7:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/hindi/>.

Intermediate Hindi 201: for continuing students. Starts Friday 31 July. Meets Fridays 4:00-5:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/hindi/>.

Introductory Urdu 103: for continuing students. Starts Tuesday 28 July. Meets Tuesdays 4:00-5:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/language/urdu/>. 

Religious Diversity courses on offer this Term are: 

RD102Discovering Religious Diversity series: "An Introduction to Hinduism". Starts Wednesday 5 August in Te Awamutu. 

A brief look at the history & development of Hinduism, with includes an introduction to the Indus Valley Civilisation, and a look at contemporary beliefs and practices. Meets biweekly in Te Awamutu on Wednesdays from 6:30-9:00pm for 4 sessions per term. Class meets on 5 Aug, 19 Aug, 2 Sep, 16 Sep. "In-person" classroom option only. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/religious-diversity/discovering/>.

RD203Contemporary Issues series: "Religious Fundamentalism, Extremism & Terrorism, Part 3".  Starts Friday 31 July.

Part 3 of a four-term course. Part 3 examines the history, context and contemporary examples of religious nationalism, fundamentalism and extremism in the Eastern traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and the Sikh faith. Meets Fridays 11:00am-1:30pm for 8 weekly sessions. The Term 4 session in this series will look at the theme of "Religion & Nonviolence". For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/religious-diversity/issues/>.

RD303World Religions series: "Hinduism". Starts Thursday 30 July. 

A detailed examination of the history and development of Hinduism, including sessions on the Indus Valley Civilisation, the emergence of Hinduism, Hindu texts (e.g. VedasUpanishādsRamāyanMahābhārat), central Hindu concepts, Hindu denominations and sects, contemporary beliefs and practices, and commemorations & celebrations of the Hindu faith. Meets Thursdays in Hamilton 6:30-9:00pm for 8 weekly sessions. The Term 4 class in this time slot will look at the Buddhist tradition. For more information see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/religious-diversity/world-religions/>. 

World Mythology course on offer this Term is:

WM101World Mythology series: "Grand Narratives & Mythologies in the Western Tradition". Starts Tuesday 28 July 

Description: Have you ever wondered what the grand old narratives and myths of the Odyssey, Exodus or the Arthurian legends are all about but never had the time to study them? This course offers the opportunity to find out more! Some great narratives and mythologies have strongly influenced the self-construction and imagination of the West. These include legendary stories and mythologies of the Bible, ancient Greek and Roman narratives, as well as Celtic, Germanic and Slavic mythologies.  Meets Tuesdays in Hamilton 7:00-9:00pm for 8 weekly sessions. For more information on this new course see <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/world-mythology/>.  

There are no prerequisites for our Religious Diversity and World Mythology courses, and these can be joined at anytime. We offer a wide variety of courses each term and these are regularly rotated throughout the year. 

More information on these and our other courses can be found by visiting our website at: <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/classes/>, then selecting the type of course you're interested in (e.g. LanguageReligious Diversity or World Mythology options). New courses are added each Term.

In coming Terms we plan to offer additional courses on New Zealand & Māori History as well as Aotearoan Environment, Natural History and Biodiversity courses. Stay tuned!

Term 3 Registration and payment information for all EarthDiverse courses can be found at: <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/registration/>.

For more information, email us at <info@earthdiverse.org.nz>.

New report reveals teaching religion in our schools reduces extremism

​New report reveals teaching religion in our schools reduces extremism

Religious Education in schools can strengthen multi-culturalism and reduce extremism in our wider communities, according to a new report.

The report found schools offering Special Religious Education (SRE), Religious Instruction (RI) and General Religious Education (GRE) were ideal settings "for children to develop an understanding of peace and tolerance.” The goal of teaching students how to live harmoniously with others in a contemporary and diverse society is a pillar of modern education, said the report. "Multicultural education is a key instrument in achieving social cohesion.” 

The report was written by world-renowned academics Professor Zehavit Gross (the UNESCO/Burg Chair in Education in Human Values, Tolerance and Peace at Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Professor Emerita Suzanne Rutland, of the University of Sydney. 
The report highlighted the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, suicide bombings in Sri Lanka and the San Diego synagogue shooting as potential topics of discussion among students. For example, religious education teachers could discuss the fear and concern which affected Muslim, Christian and Jewish students in Australia, the report found. Removing in-faith education from government schools detracts from the government's multicultural aims by denying students a crucial avenue to explore their own religious identity and heritage. The report found SRE and GRE played a key role in dismantling stereotypes and strengthening social cohesion. Professor Gross said the belief that religion is irrelevant in a postmodern world is a myth. "Religion continues to play a major role in our public life and acknowledges the legitimate spiritual needs of each individual." Professor Rutland said religious belief and spirituality provide students with an anchor for their individual identities and contribute meaning to their lives. A strong grounding in one's individual identity, combined with knowledge of other religions, helps to combat extremism by teaching respect for diversity. Christian SRE CEO Murray Norman said it was vital students were provided with a safe place to explore their religious identities.

August 22, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk

2018 Census statistics on Religious Diversity

2018 Census statistics on Religious Diversity

As many of you know, the 2018 New Zealand Census statistics were released earlier this week on Monday 23 September. The released figures however, are always just raw numbers of census respondents. In order to make some sense of these figures I have compiled and published the attached chart, which should make it easier for those of us interested in the religious demography of New Zealand to make sense of the raw data. This includes portraying some of the intercensal growth in the various categories.

I hope that you will find this information useful.

Please remember that it is a first draft and I would warmly welcome comments and suggestions for improvement. I am also preparing a written article to accompany the Table, which will include additional analysis and summarise long term trends. For the moment, in the interest of getting these figures circulated I am just providing the basic information. 

There are interesting trends to note, such as the phenomenal increase in our Jain and Sikh populations, along with a tremendous increase in those responding with 'No Religion’ and ‘Object to Answering’. Both Hinduism and Islam also continue on strong growth trajectories. 

The decline in those adhering to the numerous Christian denominations has slowed down a bit in the recent Intercensal period (although adherence to Christianity now only makes up for 37% of those stating a religious affiliation, compared with 48% in the 2018 Census stats). Since the 2013 Census, New Zealand is no longer a Christian-majority country, although it maintains its status as the religion with the most adherents in New Zealand. Secularity is still in the majority (48.2%). Buddhism has also has lost more than 9% of its 2013 population. 

Most surprising however, is the significant decrease of those stating adherence to Judaism, which has lost 23% of its population over the course of the most recent intercensal period (after remaining flat for the previous intercensal period). This may be due to increasing antisemitism and a Jewish population that may be increasingly unlikely to identify as such. This decline is indeed newsworthy and I’ll be working on a statement in the coming days. 

Much more work and analysis needs to be done on these statistics and figures, so I’ll keep you posted as the research progresses. 

If you are distributing this PDF, please make sure to include both the chart on Page 1 and the Notes on page 2, i.e. please do not simply print out the first page and ignore the accompanying notes. If distributing printed versions, please make sure to include Page 2 as the back side of a double sided page. 

This PDF is available for download on our website at <www.earthdiverse.org.nz/publications/>.

Todd Nachowitz, PhD
Director, EarthDiverse
mobile: +64 27 432 7590
email: <todd@earthdiverse.org.nz>
bio: <www.waikato.ac.nz/staff-profiles/people/toddnach/>
web: <www.earthdiverse.org.nz>
facebook: <www.facebook.com/EarthDiverse>
twitter: twitter.com/EarthDiverse
Secretary, Waikato Interfaith Council (WIFCO) / Te Tīaho Uenuku
email: <wifconz@gmail.com>
web site: <www.waikato-interfaith.org>facebook: <www.facebook.com/WIFCO>

Title
  
Location
  
Start Time
End Time
Description
Week of Prayer for World Peace - NationalVarious11/10/2020 12:00 a.m.18/10/2020 11:59 p.m.
The Week of Prayer for World Peace is an opportunity for people of all faiths to pray in their own gatherings or with people of other faiths for world peace. The Week will be observed around the world from 11 to 18 October. A leaflet has been produced with prayers, readings and affirmations from many faiths to use each day. The theme of the leaflet is developed for worldwide distribution by the Week of Prayer for World Peace multi-faith committee based in Great Britain. Religious communities throughout New Zealand are encouraged to celebrate the week both in their observances and together with people of different faiths.
Week of Prayer for World Peace - National Various10/10/2021 12:00 a.m.17/10/2021 11:59 p.m.
The Week of Prayer for World Peace is an opportunity for people of all faiths to pray in their own gatherings or with people of other faiths for world peace. The Week will be observed around the world from 10 to 17 October. A leaflet has been produced with prayers, readings and affirmations from many faiths to use each day. The theme of the leaflet is developed for worldwide distribution by the Week of Prayer for World Peace multi-faith committee based in Great Britain. Religious communities throughout New Zealand are encouraged to celebrate the week both in their observances and together with people of different faiths.
PreviousPreviousNextNext
  
  
Aotearoa New Zealand Interfaith NetworkThe Aotearoa New Zealand Interfaith Network is part of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme and is a mailing list that brings together faith communities, interfaith groups, government agencies, academics and individuals interested in interfaith ...
Auckland Interfaith CouncilAuckland Inter-Faith Council (AIFC) was formed to provide a platform for inter-religious dialogue and networking, and to create a model showing cooperation among religions.
BBC Religion & EthicsThe BBC's site on religion and ethics with information areas on Atheism, Bahá'í, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Mormonism, Paganism, Rastafari, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Unitarianism, Zoroastrianism
BBC Religion & Ethics programmesThe BBC in the UK have many radio and television programmes which can be viewed online
BeliefNetWe are a multi-faith e-community designed to help you meet your own religious and spiritual needs -- in an interesting, captivating and engaging way ...
Canterbury Interfaith Society We are a voluntary non-profit association of people representing diverse religious communities in Christchurch and the wider Cantebury area.
Center for Interreligious UnderstandingThrough educational programs and policy leadership, the CIU brings people of all faiths together to learn about our history, our shared values and why we must live and work together toward a society of justice and peace ...
Centre for Faith and the MediaThe Centre for Faith and the Media is an independent, non-profit organization to inform, advise and help media and the general public achieve a stronger understanding of spiritual history, practices and values in Canadian society.
Council of Christians and JewsThe Council of Christians and Jews brings together Christian and Jewish Communities in a common effort to overcome the evils of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination between people of different of religions and ethnicity.
Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith GroupOur group was formed here in Dunedin in the aftermath of the events of September 11th 2001 out of spontaneous expressions of solidarity and goodwill between leaders of our three faiths, the police and the Dunedin City Council.
Interfaith Council of Nelson-Tasman (IFCNT)The Interfaith Council of Nelson-Tasman was formed to provide a platform for inter-religious dialogue and networking, and to create a model, to be inclusive of all, to open the door to their hearts, showing cooperation among religions and humanity.
Interfaith Encounter AssociationThe Interfaith Encounter Association is dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East through interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural study ...
Interfaith Youth CoreOur interfaith leaders are building a movement of young people from all faiths and traditions who are working together to change the world
Interfaithnet Asia PacificInterfaithnet is a group of Interfaith Ministers who graduated from interfaith seminaries in the USA, UK and Canada and who are practising as congregational ministers, chaplains, celebrants, spiritual counsellors and healers, pastoral carers, social ...
International Association for Religious FreedomThe International Association for Religious Freedom is a registered charity based in the United Kingdom which has the aim of working for freedom of religion and belief at a global level ...
International Council of Christians and JewsThe ICCJ serves as the umbrella organisation of 38 national Jewish-Christian dialogue organisations world-wide.
Internationally recognised Values Education ProgramLiving Values Education Program (LVEP) is a comprehensive values education program. This innovative global character education program offers a wide variety of experiential values activities and practical methodologies to educators, facilitators, parents
Multifaith Action SocietyFounded in 1972, the Multifaith Action Society (MAS) is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to the facilitation of interfaith education and dialogue. For over forty years, MAS has worked to build bridges between groups in British Columbia.
PBS Religion and EthicsSince its debut in 1997, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY has set itself apart from the mainstream media by providing distinctive, cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world.
Peace NextPeace Next is the official social network of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
Pluralism Project - On Common GroundThe Pluralism Project's fantastic resource, "On Common Ground" has recently been turned into an on-line resource, and is well worth a visit if you've some time to explore.
Regional Interfaith Network (RIN)The Regional Interfaith Network (RIN) website was established in Melbourne, Australia in December 2010 following a unanimous recommendation made at the 5th Regional Interfaith Dialogue held in Perth, 2009
Religion Media CentreAn independent, impartial body helping journalists and other media professionals to cover religion.
Religions for PeaceReligions for Peace is the largest international coalition of representatives from the world's great religions dedicated to promoting peace
Religious Diversity CentreA national centre of educational and research excellence, fostering an appreciation for and understanding of religious diversity amongst all New Zealanders.
REonlineReligious Education Online. REonline is a family of websites, with www.reonline.org.uk at its centre. Great resources for education of children of all ages.
Scarboro Missions Interfaith DepartmentIn recent years, the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department in Toronto, Canada has committed itself to building a website featuring curriculum and useful educational resources for interfaith work.
Spiritual "non-secular" Discussion ForumSpiritual / Gnostic / Mystic Discussion Forum for all sincere seekers of Ultimate Truth
The Interfaith AllianceThe Interfaith Alliance and The Interfaith Alliance Foundation - the national non-partisan advocacy voice of the interfaith movement. Our 150,000 members are from more than 70 faith traditions and people of good will ...
The RevealerA daily review of Religion and the Press.
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 Interfaith Groups in NZ

Religious Diversity Centre
University of Otago House
385 Queen Street
P.O. Box 5543
Auckland 1141
New Zealand
email: info@rdc.org.nz
web: www.rdc.org.nz
facebook: www.facebook.com/ReligiousDiversityCentre
twitter: twitter.com/RDCANZ
 

Auckland Interfaith Council
Pres: Mrs Ruth Cleaver, mcleaver@xtra.co.nz
General Enquiries: nzaifc@gmail.com
Facebook: Auckland Interfaith Council 
Website: www.aucklandinterfaithcouncil.org.nz 

Waikato Interfaith Council
Sec: Dr Todd Nachowitz, wifconz@gmail.com 
www.waikato-interfaith.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WIFCO
Twitter: twitter.com/WIFCONZ
PO Box 11048, Hillcrest, Hamilton 3251

Tauranga Interfaith Council
Rev John Hebenton TSSF, John.HebentonTSSF@gmail.com, 021-679-202 
Facebook: Tauranga Interfaith Council   

Hawke's Bay Interfaith Council
Pres: Dorothy Brooker
, dorothy.brooker@gmail.com
Vice Pres: Tony Franklin-Ross, tonyfr@methodist.nz
Sec: Angela McKee, a.mckee13@outlook.com

Palmerston North Interfaith Council
Mary Eastham, maeastham23@gmail.com 

Wellington Inter-Faith Council
Chair: Rakesh Naidoo, rakeshnaidoonz@gmail.com
Vice: Harvinder Singh, h_singh0110@yahoo.co.nz
Sec: Ian Hamilton, ianhamilton751@gmail.com
Treas: Pushpa Wood, pushpa.wood@gmail.com
Deputy Treas: Mere Fiore,  tioremere12@gmail.com
Enquiries to: wtgninterfaithcouncil@gmail.com

Interfaith Council of Nelson-Tasman
Sec: Catriena Wilkinson secretary@ifcnelsontasman.org.nz
www.ifcnelsontasman.org.nz

Canterbury Interfaith Society
Dianne Downward  stepdown@slingshot.co.nz
Sec: secretary@canterburyinterfaith.org.nz
www.canterburyinterfaith.org.nz 
facebook.com/canterburyinterfaith

Dunedin Interfaith Council
Chair: Geoff Mitchell
Sec: Max Gillies  dunedininterfaith@gmail.com

Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group
Chair: Dr Haizal Hussaini, haizal.mh@otago.ac.nz 
Sec: Ken Baker, kennethdbaker@gmail.com www.dunedininterfaith.net.nz
facebook.com/www.dunedininterfaith.net.nz

Date
  
Title
  
5 Jul - 1 Oct
  
Buddhism - Vassa begins. Monks and nuns begin the 3 month rainy season retreat. Vassa is the period when heavy rain stops monks from wandering from place to place and casues them to settle down in a temple to apply themselves more strictly than usual to their religious way of life.
6 Aug
  
Christianity (Western, Eastern New Calendar) - Transfiguration celebrates the appearance of Jesus in a transfigured state during his earthly life to three of his disciples, as narrated in the Gospels.
8-17 Aug
  
Zoroastrianism - Fravardeghan Days, also know as Muktad (memorialising ancestors), are ten days in preparation for Nowruz (the start of the New Year), observed by Zoroastrians who follow the Shenshai calendar.
9 Aug
  
12 Aug
  
12 Aug
  
Hinduism - Sri Krishna Jayanti (or Janmashtami) celebrates the birthday of Krishna. According to the Hindu epics, Krishna was the eighth incarnation of the God Vishnu. His purpose was to destroy the demon Kansa who was responsible for the increase of evil in the world.
17-23 Aug
  
Jainism - Paryushana-parva is the holiest period of the year for the ascetic Shvetambara sect. Celebrated for eight days concluding on Samvatsari, it is a time of dedication to Jain ideals through fasting, worship of the Jina, and reading the life-story of Lord Mahavira from the Kalpasutra.
18 Aug
  
Zoroastrianism - Nowruz (the start of the New Year) for Zoroastrians who follow the Shenshai calendar, and the beginning of 1390 AY (after Yazdegird III, the last of the Zoroastrian kings of Persia).
19 Aug
  
Christianity (Eastern - Old Calendar) - Transfiguration celebrates the appearance of Jesus in a transfigured state during his earthly life to three of his disciples, as narrated in the Gospels.
19 Aug
  
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