- WORLD INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK
- FEBRUARY 2, 2013
- BY: D. ANDREW KILLE
The first week of February is observed worldwide as World Interfaith Harmony Week. The impetus for creating this special time for celebrating interfaith relationships arose out of the work of the Common Word initiative five years ago.
“A Common Word Between Us and You ” was a document developed by over 100 Muslimscholars, religious leaders and thinkers that sought to recognize the common ground on which Islam and Christianity are built. A number of noted Christian theologians responded, and a profound dialogue between the two traditions has continued. You candownload a pdf file which includes “A Common Word,” selected responses from Christian leaders, and a history of the statement’s impact over the past five years at the Common Word website.
Following a proposal by King Abdullah II of Jordan, the United Nations unanimously adopted the resolution to declare the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Groups and individuals are encouraged to sponsor events during this week and to share the information on the World Interfaith Harmony Week website. Resources and information from past observances can also be found there.
This year, the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan announced the establishment of three WIHW Prizes. A prize will be given to each of the three best events or texts organized during the UN WIHW which best promote the goals of the WIHW. The prizes include $25,000 first prize, $15,000 second prize, and $5,000 third prize. Winners will receive an expenses-paid trip to Jordan for the awards ceremony.
A major goal of the Week is to make the ongoing work of interfaith groups to be made more visible to the world around. The thousands of events organized by these groups often go unnoticed not only by the general public, but also by other interfaith groups themselves. This week allows for these groups to become aware of each other and strengthen the movement by building ties and avoiding duplicating each others’ efforts. You can find a listing of events, background materials, photos and videos at the World Interfaith Harmony Week website.