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Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty public launch

On the evening of Thursday 23 April the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty was publicly launched by the Hon John Anderson at NSW Parliament House.

The 130 or so guests heard a number of speeches from a variety of faiths represented by Gambhir Watts, Anglican Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen, Dr My-Van Tran, Catholic Cardinal George Pell followed by the Hon John Anderson who was introduced by the Hon Con Sciacca. The Founder and Chairman of the Ambrose Centre, Rocco Mimmo, concluded the evening and was joined by all the speakers, the Venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon and Sheikh Abdul Rahman in an impressive gesture in the lighting of candles in a symbolical show of unity of purpose and peace.

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The photograph above was taken immediately following the lighting of the candles. The names of those in the photograph, from left to right, are; The Hon Con Sciacca, Sheikh Abdul Rahman, Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen, Venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon, Dr My-Van Tran, Cardinal George Pell, The Hon John Anderson, Rocky Mimmo and Gambhir Watts.

The speakers were unamimous in their full support and emphasised the importance of the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty.

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Mr Gambhir Watts chaired the launch and welcomed all guests to the evening. The photogrpah on the left is of Mr Watts during his welcome address. During the address he explained that Mahatma Gandhi strongly belived that religion is the expression of the permanent nature of man, the permanent aspect of Divinity - the element of essential goodness present in every human being. In closing, Mr Watts emphasised that Gandhi strongly believed in religious liberty and equal respect of all religions.

The Archbishop, Dr. Peter Jensen, seen here in the photogrpah on the right, spoke of the need not to allow religion to be pushed out of the public arena. 

“…people of all faiths should be able to speak boldly in the market place, especially on moral issues and not be pushed into the private sphere by secularists.

“…Social harmony and individual rights need to be tempered so that justice can be applied as a whole for all to enjoy”.

 

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Cardinal Pell emphasised the inconsistencies of public authorities who somehow believe that people may wear one suit at home on religious beliefs but are expected to dress differently when in public so that religious beliefs are not on display. On the left is a photograph of the Cardinal delivering his speech.

Assoc. Prof. My-Van Tran spoke of the lack of religious freedom in Vietnam - her Country of birth. Dr Tran spoke passionately of the suffering of the Buddhist Monks in Tibet and other countries providing examples of their courage.

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The Hon. Con Sciacca, shown here on the left, fully endorsed the work of the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty and the need to appreciate now increasingly religious liberties are under threat.

The photograph on the right is of The Hon John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister, who launched the Ambrose Centre by unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Prior to unveiling the plaque, Mr Anderson commented on the lack of intellectual depth shown by secularist forces in their contribution to the welfare needs of society. He pointed out that people with religious conviction instinctively involve themselves in organisation that assist the needy, the homeless and the sick. Mr Anderson pointed out the right of such individuals to make this a public statement of their religious beliefs. He pointed out it is religious beliefs that leads these people to undertake these public works.

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Rocky Mimmo, as photographed at the lectern on the right, pointed out that the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty was established to promote and defend the fundamental human right of religious liberty. He said there was no threat in Australia to the right to hold religious beliefs. This was not the concern but rather it was the right to manifest religious beliefs in public that was in issue.

He gave the example where Christian students were refused the right to set up a Christian Group on the campus of a Queensland University. Another example was the ill-informed decision of the authorities, at Royal North Shore Hospital, in removing Christian icons from the Chapel. He said the hospital authorities said that other religious believers would be offended by these icons. Mr Mimmo disputed this and said the decision was ill-considered, ill-advised, offensive and breached the very issue of human rights of the Christian believers.

Mr Mimmo indicated that internationally, religious liberty was supported particularly in the United Kingdom and United States by similar Centres and through its International Advisors, the Ambrose Centre will be kept abrest of the global situation.

Mr Mimmo thanked the guests for attending and called upon their continued support for the Ambrose Centre and its work.

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Many of the guests have reported how impressed they were with the speakers and the venue, however, in particular they all singled out their delight in witnessing the support and unity from the leaders representing the various religious faiths and political parties. The two photographs, one above and one below, are of guests listening to speeches which were made between opportunities to meet each other over canapes and beverages.

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The Ambrose Centre operates throughout Australia from its base in the Sydney. The Centre is a not for profit organisation and relies on the generation donations from supporters. Should you wish to donate to the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty, please take a moment to fill out the online form by clicking here.

The Ambrose Centre will uphold the right to religious liberty for individuals and religious organisations. If you know of a situation where religious freedom is being abused in Australia do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

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