Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week in Africa

In News by Noora Chahine

Capital Ethiopia News

On the occasion of the 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, under the theme of “Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values” Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI) and United Religions Initiative of Africa (URI) called for the African Union and its 53 member States to celebrate the first World Interfaith Harmony Week. Both organizations also call upon different religions leaders in Africa to organize interfaith harmony prayer throughout Africa and to promote the teaching of the Golden Rule to make this happen.

HM King Abdullah II of Jordan introduced a World Interfaith Harmony Week at the Plenary Session of the 65th UN General Assembly in New York and a resolution was adopted by the UN on October 20, 2010, and the first week of February, every year, has been declared a UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Board Chairman of IPI and Representative of URI at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) who attend the 16th African Union Assembly sent out an appeal letter to African Union Commission and to all its member counters to celebrate the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week and to proclaim April 5th as Golden Rule Day.

Ambassador Mussie in his message said “ The World Interfaith Harmony Week is a week we all can express our collective commitment, vision and action to peace, world interfaith harmony and co-existence among all nations and one practical action which can make this a reality is the teaching of the Golden Rule which says treat others the way you want to be treated.”

The Golden Rule is our common shared values that lead us to greater unity and integration as it one great law that binds all of us. The Golden Rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures and religions and it is a strong value throughout the world.  Thus if we all practice and live according to the Golden Rule there will be world interfaith harmony and peace on Earth. The Golden Rule is also what leads us to the path of peace, respect to each other, constructive dialogue, social development, democracy, respect to human right and all form of life, environmental protection and create a better world for all.  With this fact in mind, in 2007 IPI declared April 5th as “Golden Rule Day” and called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, and the United Nations, African Union, the league of Arab States, Civil Societies etc to join IPI in proclaiming this day as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for all and the coming generation. Interfaith Peace-building Initiative is a peace building organization based in Addis Ababa and is affiliated with the Department of Pubic Information of the United Nations. It is also a member of United Religions Initiative (URI), an international interfaith Peace organization with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Both IPI and URI uphold strongly the purpose of African Union and its principles as enshrined in its Constitutive Act.

Source: Capital Ethiopia News.