Prime Minister thanks faith leaders for the work for the ‘common good’
The Prime Minister has thanked faith leaders for their work for the ‘common good’ at the Inaugural Interfaith parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in Canberra today (17 June), telling religious leaders and politicians that believing in something greater than ourselves made us better people.
Organised by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and held at Old Parliament House, the breakfast was attended by leaders from 31 different faith groups and Members of Federal Parliament, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
Mr Abbott referred to the well-known prayer, ‘Footprints’, which describes how God accompanies individuals on their journey through life, even during the most difficult times.
Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten also addressed the group, describing the occasion as a ‘celebration of the unity of multicultural Australia.’
Several faith leaders attending read prayers based upon their religious traditions, including His Grace Haigazoun Najrian Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Australia, Dr Natalie Mobini, Director Baha’i Centre, His Eminence Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, Grand Mufti of Australia and Rabbi Ralph Genende and Archbishop Christopher Prowse.
Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, Rev. Myung Hwa Park read the prayer for our nation published by the Uniting Church;
O God, our help in ages past, in your sight, nations rise and fall, and pass through times of peril;
Give wisdom and grace to our nation.
Grant our leaders, the prime minister and premiers, ministers, parliaments, councils, for service organisation and welfare groups, your wisdom, that they may search for your will and see it clearly.
Loving God, where as a nation we have turned from your path, reverse our ways and help us to repent. And help our leaders to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.
Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian, the president of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, delivered the key note address, with a speech about, ‘faith and leadership in modern Australia’, urging members of various faiths to work together.
“My plea to you here today, representing many faiths, is to seek to know, understand and accept our differences, because those differences are the essential elements of our religious traditions,” he said.