Seychelles Interfaith CouncilOn the occasion of Interfaith Harmony week held annually from February 1-7, and first announced by the United Nations in 2012, SIFCO (Seychelles Interfaith Council) recognises the need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in order to promote mutual understanding. “This constitutes an important dimension of a culture of peace and harmony between all people, regardless of their faith,” says Sifco in a message to mark the week. The message reads: “We encourage everyone, during this week, to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions. “For inter-religious dialogue to be effective, we need to progress beyond mere tolerance to mutual respect and friendship. An understanding and appreciation of the basic teachings and principles of the world religions will lead to the realisation that despite how varied our different beliefs, traditions and practices are, they all rest on the foundation of belief in God, love and peace. We need to focus on what unites rather than divides us. This then enhances cooperation and unity among different Faiths in order to rebuild the moral foundations of society as a whole, leading to the betterment of the world through pure and goodly deeds; through Love of God, and Love of humanity. “Sifco participates in forums and consultations on peace and reconciliation for the healing and unity of the nation as a whole and offers through its spiritual services and other forms of communication, moral and spiritual guidance on matters of national importance. It promotes the progress of society and the holistic development of the individual. It participates in social action in partnership with other non-governmental organisations, to enhance the spiritual resilience needed to combat all kinds of social ills. “Let us all strive to manifest in our daily lives the attributes of love, justice, truthfulness, forgiveness, kindness and honesty; a heightened awareness that we are essentially spiritual beings in a material body. “We wish all the people of Seychellesa joyous and prosperous year ahead. May God bless us and keep us safe.” The Sifco is made of representatives from the following Faiths: Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Baha’i Faith, Islamic Centre for Information and Guidance, Hindu Council of Seychelles, Orthodox Church, Zoarastrian Faith, Seychelles Buddhist Association, Seychelles Evangelical Alliance.