What happens when a multi-faith community seeks to understand each other’s views about death, life after death, rituals around dying?
“There’s an amazing amount of similarity as well as differences in the various faith traditions,” said one participant at the end of an inspiring event organised by the Knox Interfaith Network (KIN) on 10 September 2019.
About the Interfaith Forum
The Interfaith Forum was facilitated by Shameela Essop, KIN President, and funded by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The event is one of a series aimed at enabling multicultural and multi-faith communities to understand and engage in discussion about each other’s traditional practices and beliefs.
At this Forum, faith leaders from Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu traditions explained core beliefs and practices around Death and Dying. Questions were asked about practices before and after death, burial practices, mourning rituals, the soul/spirit in the afterlife.
Apart from KIN representatives, the Forum was attended by community members interested to respectfully hear other faith perspectives, share reflections and discuss a topic not generally spoken about.
Learning about services available to the community
Maureen McConnell of Be the Ripple Project (CHAOS Neighbourhood Houses) and Nora Fernandes from Palliative Care Victoria gave brief presentations about services available to the community for palliative and end of life care.
“(It is) definitely successful when people tell me they have a better understanding of palliative care!” remarked Shameela.