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Faith Leaders Call for Peace & Unity

Faith Leaders Call for Peace & Unity

16 December 2014

Statement on Behalf of the Multifaith Advisory Group & Faith Communities Council of Victoria in response to the tragic event in Sydney.

The members of the Victorian Multifaith Advisory Group (MAG) and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) would like to offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims of the Sydney hostage crisis and their families. We also extend our sincere gratitude to the police and emergency services personnel who put their lives at risk in the service of others.

We are shocked and saddened by this terrible act of violence and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.

Australia is a diverse and harmonious place where people from many different cultures, religions and spiritualties have made their home. Together, we live in peace and respect one another.

We support the National Board of Imams and the wider Muslim community who have stated that the beliefs and acts of the individual responsible do not reflect the teachings of Islam, nor the desire for peace of Australian Muslims.

During this sad and difficult time we call upon all Australians to unite in affirming peace and continuing to support one another.

The overwhelming community support, including the #illridewith you Twitter campaign is heartening and reflects our shared humanity and values.

We encourage all people to reach out to each other in the spirit of peace.

The MAG consists of approximately 20 senior representatives from Victoria’s diverse faith communities, including the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and interfaith communities. The MAG represents the voice of Victoria’s faith leaders to the Victorian Government.

The FCCV is an umbrella multifaith body contributing to the harmony of the Victorian community by promoting positive relations between people of different faiths and greater public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, customs and practices of Victoria's diverse faith traditions.

This statement is supported by the following MAG members:

1. Anglican Archdiocese of Melbourne
2. Baha’i Community of Victoria
3. Coptic Orthodox Church Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions
4. Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria
5. Gary Bouma, Chair of Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific Region
6. Hindu Council of Australia, Victoria Chapter
7. Hindu Foundation
8. Interfaith Centre of Melbourne
9. Islamic Council of Victoria
10. Jewish Communities Council of Victoria
11. Lutheran Church of Australia, Victorian District
12. Rabbinical Council of Victoria
13. Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, Australian and New Zealand Diocese.
14. Salvation Army, Victoria
15. Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria
16. Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria & Tasmania
17. Victorian Council of Churches
18. Victorian Multicultural Commission

Media contacts:
Bishop Phillip Huggins, Anglican Archdiocese of Melbourne, 0418 799 515
Nail Aykan, Islamic Council of Victoria, 0430 545 800
Rabbi Ralph Genende, Rabbinical Council of Victoria, 0411 417 174



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