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Posted by Franz Huber on Jan 09, 2019
On a daily basis we hear about Muslims detesting Christians, Sunni and Shia Muslims being at war, and one only has to go back half of a life time to the major conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. Let's not, for a moment, even consider the question of which branch of Christianity is right: Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, Mormon, just to name a few). And of course the issue with Judaism and the rest of the world seems to have gone on since time immemorial. Oh, have I mentioned yet Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha'i...? 
 
So, when I read in the Burleigh Rotary Club bulletin that there were some volunteers who were running a Multi Faith Centre at the Commonwealth Games, my first vision was along the line of someone trying to herd a bunch of cats...  "Not so!" assured us our Guest Speaker, Kay Chiswell. Together with Lakshmi Narasimhan and a number of other volunteers, they indeed managed to organize and arrange for the athletes and their officials from all over the Commonwealth to pursue their peaceful pursuit of worship - whatever their religion.  As a matter of fact, so successful was their enterprise that they have been asked to come up with a similar solution for the upcoming Olympic Games in 2020! Their team had representatives of various faiths that were catered for at the village. There were national faith leaders and chaplains. There were international, professional sports chaplains who belong to the Christian faith. Quite straight forward, isn't it? Not so sure...  Let's just see: the principal task (one assumes to be) was to provide a place where people could "express their faith". But also a place to come to if they needed to talk to someone about whatever issue, not necessarily relating to their faith. Seeing the Games were in the Easter Period, a number of different Holy Days fell into the period. And overall, still to cater for the needs of individual faiths. In the humble view of your Editor, a gargantuan task!
 
And so the Christians, the Muslims, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Baha'i, the Hindis and the Sikhs all shared the Multi Faith Centre, to worship, to meditate, to talk, to seek inner peace.  Sounds almost impossible? Well, from my point of view, perhaps Kay and her team should move on to the UN and give them a couple of lessons on how it's actually done.