The Idea (download PDF 95KB)
A Faith Friendly Charter
Launched by the Mr Hieu Van Le,
Chairman of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission,
An Australian society of ‘faith friendly’ communities.
In this pluralist society, communities of all cultural backgrounds, religious faiths, spiritual persuasions and world views are open to each other and respect each other.
The charter is grounded in the following principles:
1. Principle of Mutual Respect
A faith friendly community seeks to respect the diversity and differences of faiths and beliefs of all in the community.
2. Principle of Mutual Understanding
A faith friendly community seeks to learn about, and so understand, the values and beliefs of world religions and diverse spiritualities.
3. Principle of Mutual Concern
A faith friendly community provides opportunity for individuals and groups to meet their religious and spiritual needs and to work in harmony for the common good and a sustainable world.
4. Principle of Mutual Responsibility
A faith friendly community has a responsibility to facilitate a context of goodwill in which individuals and groups are free to differ peacefully, choose an alternate spiritual path or practice a traditional faith with integrity.
The Australian Context
The Faith Friendly Charter is promoted in the Australian context where the following values are recognised:
Australia values democracy, the equality of all individuals before the law, human dignity and the freedom for all citizens to explore ideas and debate openly.
Australia values a diversity of cultural backgrounds, religious faiths, spiritual persuasions and world views, including those of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as significant contributions to a rich Australian ethos.
Australia values fairness and equality in a context where all individuals and groups are free to choose and practice their beliefs, faiths and points of view in a tolerant society.
Australia values those agencies of the community which enable individuals, young and old, to gain an understanding of the diverse faiths, beliefs and points of view in our society and the requirement to act responsibly and ethically.
Achieving the Vision
Businesses, companies, educational bodies and other institutions endorse the Faith Friendly Charter and explore appropriate ways of developing policies within their respective contexts that would enable faith-friendly communities to emerge.
These same bodies introduce specific vehicles to enable each faith community to celebrate its respective rites and practices within the relevant work, educational or social contexts.
The necessary support services needed to implement these policies and practices be the responsibility of the company, educational institution or other relevant community rather than the individual faith communities as such.
A Faith Friendly Blessing
May the pulse of life
that animates our planet,
the dream of peace
that sustains her peoples
and the spirit of hope
that inspires her faiths,
create within her children
a desire for friendship.
The Faith Friendly Charter Working Group (2009 – 2010)
Dr Paul Babie, Director, Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion, Adelaide University
Mr Geoff Boyce, Chaplain, Flinders University
Prof Norman Habel, Flinders School of Theology
Mr Kris Hanna
Dr David Kranz, Quest Partners
Rev Nicholas Rundle
Dr Vicky Sanders, Quest Partners