Hindus and Jews have urged Parliament of Australia to move to multi-faith opening prayers.

May 23rd, 2009 - 12:17 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire  

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a joint statement, said that since Australian Parliament represented every Australian irrespective of religion/denomination, it was quite befitting in this increasingly diverse nation to do a rotation of prayers representing major religions and aboriginal spirituality.

Zed and Freirich said that religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha’ism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, aboriginal spirituality, etc., should be invited in rotation to recite short opening prayers in Australia Senate and House of Representatives.

Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich argued that we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience. In our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another and thus could arrive nearer to the truth.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that presence of different religions was an evident symbol of God’s generosity and munificence. We should quest for a unity that hailed diversity.

Currently, second paragraph of opening prayer in Australia Senate and House is the same and it reads as: Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

First paragraph of prayer in Senate and House, although similar, but differs slightly. The President reads the prayer in Senate, while Speaker reads it in the House. John Hogg is Senate President, while Harry Jenkins is House Speaker.

Australia, sixth largest country with a GDP per capita of about $37,500 and known for its natural beauty, has the longest continuous cultural history. About 68% of its population is Christian. Parliament of Australia consists of the Queen (Elizabeth II), Senate (with 76 Senators), and House (with 150 Representatives). Important functions of the Parliament are: formation of government, legislation, provide funds for government, forum for popular representation, scrutinize government actions, etc. -Sampurn Media

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