BRIDGES TO BROTHERHOOD—reconciliation in the Australian outback

Following the cultural gathering last year at Huntingtower School in Melbourne, Australia, Peter Julian took further steps in building what he sees as a continuing goodwill relationship between the races. [See "A step toward reconciliation," Christian Science Sentinel, October 7, 2002].

After Huntingtower School's successful corroboree, I arranged to take a group of nine 10 to 14-year-olds from Melbourne to a remote Aboriginal community in Australia's central desert region. One of our goals was to take another step in understanding the rich cultural contribution that the Aborigines have made to current-day Australia. But I also saw our visit as an example of something I believe is much needed in my country—racial reconciliation, a friendship-building effort between non-indigenous and Aboriginal Australians.

My prayers to discover and understand the spiritual basis for reconciliation had led me in this direction, and I believed that prayer would be the element that would keep our progress on track. In preparation for the trip, I prayed frequently that everybody would be free from stereotypes. I strongly believe that rooting out racial stereotypes—which I think of as inaccurate generalizations—takes prayer. This kind of prayer cancels the tendency to pull down people and intentions, and instead reveals attitudes and aspects that are freeing, and in keeping with the truth about God's spiritual creation.

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August 18, 2003

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