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Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police

NCJ Number
Date Published
59 pages
This practical reference for Australian police provides an overview of the beliefs of non-Christian religious bodies in Australia and supplies specific information helpful to police in interacting with adherents to these religions in various contexts.
The religions for which information is provided are Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and the Sikh faith. For each of these faiths this booklet presents a summary of core beliefs, followed by an overview of general religious practices presented in the format of questions and answers. The questions and answers in the overview pertain to the key festivals celebrated in the religion; variations in or branches of the religion; whether or not the religion forbids the eating of meat; the importance of specific worship times; whether the religion involves the wearing of special clothing, jewelry, or ornaments; whether the religion has periods of fasting; and any other significant behaviors associated with the religion. Remaining questions for each religion are posed under the following subjects: death and related issues, gender roles and family, physical contact and other sensitivities, and religious practices that may impact the way adherents of the religion interact with the police in the context of police duties. Similar questions are posed under these topics for each of the religions covered. Data are also provided on the number of adherents of each religion in each of the Australian States and Territories.