Yezidis and Bangladeshi Hindus: A modern day Exodus story

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By: Rachel Avraham, Israel National News.

In the spirit of this time of year, we should recall the plight of the Yezidi and Bangladeshi Hindu people, who are experiencing a modern day form of slavery and flight as we speak.

Bangladesh has now been independent for 48 years but during this period of time, Shipan Kumer Basu, the President of the World Hindu Struggle, reported that only the Muslims obtained their freedom: “The 25 million minorities in the country are freedom fighters due to their perseverance in the face of adversity.  During the War of Bangladeshi Independence, the minorities suffered unspeakable atrocities.   In 1971, Hindus were massacred and raped by the Pakistanis and their Muslim Bengali allies.  100 million Hindus fled to India in order to save their lives.”

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Liverpool police community engagement

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By:Somesh Sibal

Liverpool police community engagement program was attended by Somesh Sibal of the Hindu Council of Australia’s Chaplaincy team along with members of about 15 different cultural and religious groups in the area. The program was organised on 29th March 2018 to meet the new Liverpool area commander Superintendent Paul Albury. Paul addressed the attendees. Among the topic discussed how to have healthy community engagement with police with respect to both police and community. 

Liverpool police is currently working on improving protocols to:
 
Greetings:   What are the protocols with greetings each other within the culture (physical proximity and touching)
 
Cultural Influence in Interaction: Are there any religious/cultural practices which may influence the way people interact with police?

 Protocol for entering church/temple: Are there any special considerations when entering church/temple.
 
Protocols in Searching temple/Church:  Is there any protocol to follow in case police need to search the temple/Church, including religious objects such as statues, altar, tabernacle etc.

Role of Religious and community leaders: What is the role of religious and community leaders in case community protests, demonstrations or any other circumstances involving police and community confrontation.
 
Providing Specimens:  Does providing blood samples, body fluid or any other specimens for investigative purposes present problems? Are there any dates or religious significance when we should not approach an individual for an interview?

Illinois and Iowa Senate-House open with Hindu prayers

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India Post News Service

CHICAGO: On February 27 and 28 respectively, Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives in Springfield started their sessions with Hindu prayers, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture. 

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Quarterly update from Victoria Chapter

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A quick update from Victoria chapter on activities during the first quarter of 2018
 
1 Quarterly participation at Multifaith Advisory Group within the Premier’s Cabinet Office
2. Feb 18 : Participation in the multifaith consultation called by the PM on freedom of religion, chaired by Philip Ruddock
3. Presentation of Certificate of Honour to HH Mahant Swami of BAPS by HCA on behalf of participating organisations – 10 Feb
4. Ongoing Chaplaincy funds distribution from Spiritual Health Victoria to volunteer health care chaplains through ISKCON Melbourne. 
5. Review of last year’s contact made for prison chaplaincy to identify ongoing needs. Currently ISKCON handles this on their own.
 
Upcoming events
 
1. 18 March 18 – Spiritual Discourse by Sri M , visiting accomplished Yogi from India.
2. International Yoga Day 21 June
3. Diwali in Vic Parliament with BAPS – date TBD
 

Youth start planning their Parliament of World’s religions for 2018

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The cabinet of Youth Parliament of World’s religion met for its first meeting to plan its annual event. The first meeting has kick started the event planning. The emphasis in the meeting was to get more religions and more youth involved in the planning process.

Youth Parliament of World’s religions is an annual conference for the youth and by the youth to raise and discuss issues affecting youth and is an interfaith event. It holds this event in the month of September every year. We will keep you posted as it progresses.

Harmony Day at Nan Tien Temple

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Hindu Council of Australia participated in Harmony Day 2018 that was celebrated on 1st April 2018 at Nan Tien Temple in Berkely NSW. Nan Tien is a Buddhist faith temple spread on a large hill situated about 100 kilometers from Sydney near the town of Wollongong.

The ceremony was well attended and included prayers by various religious groups like Easter Bible reading, a recital from Rig Veda on harmony, a peace verse from Quran and off course various Buddhist prayers on Harmony.

 

Hindu Council participates in Annual Function of Ahmadiyya Muslims

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Ahamadiyya mulsim association is holding a three day annual function (salana jalasa) during the Easter long weekend with delegates from inter state and overseas. There were anout 3,000 ateendees including a Christian reverend and some of the MPs. Hindu Council was represented by Surinder Jain, National Vice President and Bimal Joshi, National Joint Secretary. There were many speeches about the message of the Ahmadiyya prophet and some by MPs extolling how well Ahmadiyya community is integrating and is enriching Australia. During the speeches slogans and shouts of praising their Spiritual Leader, Australia Jindabaad and Jai ho were heard.

Ahamadiyyas are a Muslim sect that originated in Kaadiyaan village near Amritsar in India. They are prosecuted, their mosques are attacked in Pakistan as some Muslims consider them to be non-muslims for believing that the Ahmadiyya spiritual founder is a prophet for all mankind. They are a highly prosecuted community in Pakistan where they had relocated after the formation of Pakistan for all muslims in 1947. Today their spiritual; headquarter is in UK. There are about 4,000 Ahmadiyyas in Sydney and perhaps about 7,000 all over Australia.

Breaking Bread at Blacktown Harmony Day

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Hindu Council of Australia participated in Breaking Bread (having a meal together, or starting a meal) initiative as part of western Sydney’s large Harmony Day celebrations in Blacktown on Wednesday March 21st. The initiative was organized by FoodFaith and held at Bowmans Hall, Blacktown, NSW. FoodFaith is an initiative to bring together people of different faiths using food as a medium.

The initiative aims to showcase breads from different faiths and cultures and celebrate beliefs, customs and traditions and was a large communal activity bringing everyone together. Representatives from Indigenous, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Punjabi, Pacific, African, and Eastern European faiths and traditions attended the event. Each culture or faith brought samples of their breads to share with others.

Hindu Council took its “Roti” and “Raita” to the event and was represented in the event by Sai Pravastu, Surinder Jain, Vijai Singhal and Kamlesh Chaubey. Both were very much enjoyed by by about a thousand people gathered there,

 

 

NSW announces 27 million dollars grant for well being school workers

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The NSW state government has announced $9 million each year for next three years to have well being officers in schools. Both religious and atheists can apply. Community gives $7000, School gives $7000 then the govt will also give $7000, then the school can hire a well being officers for $21000. Mr Paul Green, MLC Christian Democratic party announced to gathered religious leaders that from now on private schools will be treated at par with government schools when it comes to developing their land. It will save them up to $15000 in development costs.
 
Mr Paul Green is a member of the Legislative council of NSW and is from Christian Democratic party. He and Reverend Fred Niles assured all the religious leaders that their party wants to support all faiths by helping other faiths to get their voices heard in the state parliament. A number of Christian bishops said they feel comeradry with other non-christian faiths to fight the onslaught by atheists on faith groups. One of the bishops voiced his concerns that it is not the freedom of church but the freedom of individuals to keep their faith and not be discriminated at work place. He further explained that my right to preach can never be taken away but the right of people declaring their faith and their opinion in work place is in danger. He fears that many people fear that they will loose their job if they express their religious views.
 
The Premier thanked religious groups for working well and patiently with the government especially last year when things always did not go their way.
 
 

NSW Govt gets serious about Religious education

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NSW state government had ordered a review of Special Religious Education(SRE) in 2015 and the report was received in 2017. Hindu scriptures are taught to students in schools by VHP and Chinmaya Mission under this special scheme. As a part of implementing many of these recommendations, an All Faith SRE (AFSRE) committee was formed. This committee represents different faiths including Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Bahai and Buddhist among others.

Another recommendation to have a formal syllabus, vetting of teachers identity, working with children check, training of teachers, a formal complain making and handling mechanism are being put in place and being made mandatory from this year. Two Hindu organizations Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Chinmaya Mission are both well on their way in complying with these new rules. AFSRE is providing guidance and hand holding to both of them. Both of them have taken the assistance of BBF process to comply with these guidelines.

Saiva Manaram is also registered as an SRE for providing education on Saiva Manram faith to school children and is also on its way to comply with the new rules.  As of this year, SRE’s who do not comply with the new process will not be allowed to teach in schools. Hindu teachers have prepared themselves well and are not affected. Hindu teachers will continue to teach in schools. AFSRE chair, thanked Hindu Council of Australia for having brought together the Hindu SRE providers to understand and fit in with the changes taking place.