10122-140 St, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - Surrey
Host Church and GCAOC
People, all around the world, are getting frustrated and depressed by the consistent stories of violence and persecution on the name of religion through media. Humankind is in epoch of transition and human race is looking for a new philosophy, a new paradigm and a new consciousness to build bridges of peace and harmony on earth. It is undeniable reality that we have to create safe spaces for people of all belief systems, cultures and spiritual traditions. H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan initiated a credible interfaith harmony resolution which was unanimously adopted by UNO on October 20, 2010. The first week of February was declared as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
It was based on the pioneering work of the Common World Initiative that focused on fundamental religious Commandments-’Love of God’ and ‘love of Neighbour’ but the WIHW extends it by adding ‘Love of the Good’ and ‘Love of the Neighbour’. It includes those of other faiths, and those with no faiths.
It provides a platform -one week in a year- to demonstrate that interfaith, faith and other groups of goodwill can work together to cultivate the environment of peace and harmony by building ties with each others in our communities. It emphasises on elimination of intolerance, and discrimination based on religion and belief. During the first week of February all around the world religious, peace and cultural organisations arrange events for creating dialogues to enhance mutual understanding, respect, cooperation and harmony.
The Global Clergy Association of Canada has been celebrating WIHW since 2012. This year on February 4,2017 an interfaith conference was organised at 10122-140 St, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Surrey. The theme of the conference was ‘How Communication Can Enhance Interfaith Harmony’. It was a joint program with host church and sponsored by Multifaith Action Society. In spite of unfavourable weather a good number of people participated in the conference.
Tonya Engen of the host church and Dr.J.Das , President of GCAOC welcomed the guests. Rev.Paul Hardy ( Christianity), Avinash Maniram(Hindu Dharma) and Dr.J.Das (Interfaith) presented articulately their views that inspired and enlightened the audience. The guests enjoyed rich vegetarian lunch which was served by Tonya during intermission.The well accomplished students of Naad Foundation electrified the audience with their impressive devotional music.Connie Waterman,Avinash and Eden facilitated the live round table discussions.Majority of the discussants agreed that:
A. Youths should be taught to the core values of interfaith-mutual understanding, respect, love
and care for each others.
B. Persuade people to celebrate festivals of other religions.
C. Encourage people to visit centres of other religions.
D. Hear and embrace even those who are close-minded.
E. Accept differences and seek commonality.
Acharya Dwivedi as MC thanked the speakers, musicians, guests and the volunteers of the host Mormon church. The conference was concluded with the closing prayer offered by Rev.Paul Hardy.