Interfaith dialogue is both a challenge and a gift
Increasingly the Christian community world-wide is entering into dialogue with people of other faiths. Interfaith dialogue has become vital for peace-building.
It is a great challenge to formulate what we believe in a way that is authentic and intelligible for someone of a different faith, though they may not share our conviction.
It is a challenge to do so without confronting or showing disrespect for that person's own tradition and faith.
It is a challenge to stick with interfaith dialogue at times when we feel that for every three steps forward we are taking two backward.
And yet interfaith dialogue is a precious gift. It enables us to discover the common humanity in the "other" and even to forge relationships that enrich all of our lives. It is a wonderful experience to undertake a project together for the good of the whole community. And it is a great gift to learn about each other's faith, discovering the richness of other traditions, the compassion of people of a different conviction, and common ground, e.g. in striving for peace.
QCT is involved in interfaith dialogue in various ways.
The Queensland Forum for Jews, Christians and Muslims
In the Queensland Forum for Jews, Christians and Muslims ("The Forum") representatives of QCT meet with representatives of the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Islamic Council of Queensland. This forum was set up in 2004.
Taking inspiration from the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, the Forum has given itself a set of purposes and objectives which clearly position it as a bridge-building and peace-making body of the Abrahamic Faiths in Queensland.
These contain explanations of religious practices in places of prayer/worship in the three traditions.
They describe in a simple manner what a visitor should do in order to feel comfortable and not to offend.
Each month members of the Forum - there are up to five from each faith - meet to discuss topics of interest and joint activities. During the meal that follows, to which all contribute, conversation is often light-hearted.
A first Abrahamic Faiths Concert was held on 15 November, 2007. It was such a success that it has now become an annual event. Two acts perform for each faith group. The concert is followed by a delicious Kosher-Halal meal.
Queensland Faith and Communities Council (QFCC)
QFCC was launched on 23rd May 2017 with initially 15 different faith communiites. The mission of the council is to engage in dialogue that enhances members understanding of shared values as a way of developing respect for our diversity.
Check out the food guide produced by QFCC, outlining the foods allowed and disallowed by different faith groups.
Booklet outlining all the different festivals celebrated by different faith groups with 2021 dates here.