The Sydney Statement, an interfaith charter for ‘building bridges between believers from different religions’ was launched by Youth PoWR, a coalition of young adults professing diverse faiths on Tuesday 9 February 2021.
It is available now at www.thesydneystatement.org.au
The Sydney Statement is inspired by similar interfaith statements from other cities e.g. The Athens Declaration 2015, The Beirut Declaration 2017 and The Washington Declaration 2018.
Like them, it is named after the city where it originated, but we believe this interfaith charter is “world class”, and therefore relevant to the rest of Australia and to the world! It is a great resource for schools, councils and anyone involved in community relations across multicultural, multi-religious Australia.
Although ‘named’ in terms of Sydney, the interfaith charter is relevant to NSW, Australia, and the world. Although ‘framed’ in terms of religions, the values and ideals of The Sydney Statement are readily accessible to secular worldviews and philosophies.
Ryan Epondulan, Youth PoWR Coordinator, said the interfaith network developed The Sydney Statement through two years of consultations and drafting: “The members of Youth PoWR identified values and principles for a peaceful, just and harmonious multicultural, multi-religious society, and provided concrete steps for getting there.”
“The Sydney Statement has been described as ‘inspiring’, ‘comprehensive’, ‘timely’ and ‘courageous’,” Ryan said. “It forms people for growing interfaith relations which are authentic, honest and respectful. It also educates them about the different ways of carrying out this task.”
The Sydney Statement has been developed by Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions), a coalition of young adults from different religions in Sydney—Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh—over two years of consultations and drafting, and overseen by a Steering Committee or senior representatives from these same religions, including peak state and national bodies.
Youth PoWR are inviting their peers, religious leaders, co-religionists, believers from all religions and all people of good will to sign up to the values, principles and commitments of The Sydney Statement on the dedicated website.
The Sydney Statement is an initiative of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, in partnership with Western Sydney University. The project is supported by the NSW Government with a COMPACT grant through Multicultural NSW and underwritten by St Columban’s Mission Society.