UN Establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week

In News by

www.illumemag.com : Vanessa Gomez Brake

In October, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution deeming the first week of February each year to be ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week.’ The initiative was proposed by King Abdullah of Jordan and co-sponsored by 29 other countries.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad delivered the King’s

proposal in September, encouraging all states to “spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship…to each according to their own religious traditions or convictions.”

Citing Gallup Poll findings in a recent international survey on religion, Prince Ghazi spoke of how 53% of Westerners have “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” opinions of Muslims. Additionally, he told of how 30% of Muslims worldwide hold negative views of Christians.

The General Assembly agreed that there is an urgent need for engagement among “different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.”

The proposal specifically highlighted Muslims, Christians and Jews for making up 55% of the world’s population, and their involvement in many of the world’s conflicts. However, the language used in the resolution was drafted to exclude no one: “Every person of goodwill, with or without faith can and should commit to Love of the Neighbor and Love of God or Love of the Neighbor and Love of the Good.”

February 2011 will mark the first celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week. To learn more about this UN Resolution, click here.