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June 16, 2017

The Shepparton Interfaith Network is conducting an Interfaith Meeting that aims to promote religious tolerance at Benalla Senior Citizens Club on Tuesday, June 20, at 7.30pm.

The Reverend Chris Parnell, an interfaith minister, works with members of other faiths with a goal of building harmony, cooperation and understanding among the faith communities of the Goulburn Valley.

There is much tolerance, and hence, much to be proud of in our history of settlement and integration of people’s of other nations and other faiths in the Goulburn Valley.

In the Interfaith Meeting, we invite people from a range of faiths to come along to the sessions.

These participants give a personal presentation, in which they talk about their faith, and how they integrate this into their daily lives and participation in the community.

Sometimes we learn about certain aspects of a different faith or religion that people may not be aware of, and then afterwards we open it up to the audience for a Q&A and general discussion.

The general premise is to invite people from regional towns to come along and interact with the invited speakers whether they be from a Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Christian or Hindu background and hopefully foster a sense of understanding, cooperation and harmony between the religions.

It must be said that most of our questions go to the Islamic representatives.

People have a lot of curiosity about religions, and all kinds of questions come up.

Often these questions revolve around reconciling Australian life and religious practice, and whether or not you can be a Muslim and an Australian, or a Sikh and an Australian, or Buddhist and Australian.

This curiosity — and at times — misapprehension or misunderstanding can stem from people following the media, but being unable to ask questions and delve deeper into some of the things that are reported in the media.

The interfaith meeting starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday, June 20, and will take place at the Senior Citizens Club in Fawckner Dve.

All are welcome and encouraged to come along and ask questions of the representatives.

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