Australian Gen Z and interfaith leadership and service in Indy
What do disadvantaged youth in Israel, Indian teens, Interfaith Youth Ambassadors in Indy, and members of Australia’s Gen Z have in common? Let’s find out.
A recent article from Australia has intriguing conclusion. According to “Want a safer world for your children? Teach them about diverse religions and worldviews,” Australian Gen Z teens (born between mid-1990s and mid-2000s) who have studied religious traditions in secular public school classes are more religiously literate and more accepting of different belief systems. The article concludes:
Gen Z teens who have had education about diverse religions overwhelmingly thought it helped them understand other people’s religions (93%), that it helped make them more tolerant of other people’s religions (86%), and that it was important to study these (82%). Of those who hadn’t participated in such programs, 69% wanted to learn more about the world’s religions, and 67% wanted more lessons on non-religious worldviews.
We recommend the Australian Curriculum includes more education about diverse religious and non-religious worldviews in state, religious and independent schools. This would increase religious literacy and promote inter-religious understanding and respect among Australia’s diverse religious and non-religious population.“Want a safer world for your children? Teach them about diverse religions and worldviews,” The Conversation, March 20 2019
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation agree. What is an interesting question is “why”? Is the best way to learn to accept diversity of worldviews through lectures in a classroom? Is it to learn about religions through touring places of worship? Through dialogue between those who view each other as “The Other”? Or maybe to engage in community service projects together?
In the next few weeks, we have a chance to learn how this process has worked for teens in Israel, India, and Indianapolis. We encourage attending all three events.