Does religion unite or divide us?

With religious freedom a hot-button topic in Australia’s political agenda, delegates at the International Metropolis Conference, Sydney, will vote on whether the religious affiliations of migrants create bridges or barriers to belonging.

The vote will follow a debate on the subject, “Religion divides us more than it unites us”.

The debate will feature Jawad Syed (Lahore University, Pakistan), Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College, USA), Farida Fozdar (The University of Western Australia) and Sunil Badami (author, Australia).

The Executive Director of The Ethics Centre, Dr Simon Longstaff, will moderate the debate.

While religious affiliation can provide bonds and bridges that increase a migrant’s sense of belonging, the Pew Research Centre Australia reports to have seen a continued rise in social hostilities involving religion.

Metropolis 2018 is a conference that brings together international, national and local migration experts and practitioners to highlight the latest research, challenges, and successes in migration, diversity and integration.

Violet Roumeliotis is the Conference Chair and CEO of Settlement Services International. Ms Roumeliotis said the debate will be an engaging way to wrestle with a hard issue.

“This debate will bring together both sides of the argument in a professional and entertaining way,” she said.

“This is about ideas, about people and how we live together.”

The Debate: Religion divides us more than it unites us, will be held on Friday 2 November 2018 at the International Metropolis Conference, Sydney.

Metropolis 2018 takes place at ICC Sydney from 29 October to 2 November 2018. For more information, go to the event’s official website.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor




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