World leaders gather for G20 Interfaith Summit

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Queensland, Australia

An interfaith summit organised by Griffith University to coincide with the G20 is underway in Queensland. The summit’s focus is on the connection between economic development and religious freedom.

How far should societies go to crack down on religious extremism? How do we balance competing claims to rights? . . . Parliamentarians struggle with these questions. It was good to have a place for them to share their diverse experience and visions.

“This event will bring together scholars, lawyers and political leaders with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue,” says Dr Brian Adams, director of the university’s Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue.

Yesterday, James Standish, director of the communication and public affairs for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific, chaired a conference session consisting of parliamentarians from Turkey, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and the ACT.
 


Australian Human Rights commissioner Tim Wilson with South Pacific Division Communication and Public Affairs director James Standish.

“We live in an age where religious freedom questions are being asked with increasingly urgency,” notes Standish. 

“How far should societies go to crack down on religious extremism? How do we balance competing claims to rights? How much religion is too much religion in public life? What can we do to promote social stability in religiously diverse societies? Parliamentarians struggle with these questions. It was good to have a place for them to share their diverse experience and visions.”

The G20 Interfaith Summit concludes today.