Interfaith dialogue in Iligan highlights World Interfaith Harmony Week

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ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, February 4 (PIA)β€” An interfaith dialogue through Church-Masjid visitations activity among people of various faiths highlights the observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week here in Iligan City and Lanao del Norte.

A mosque or Masjid is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salat (prayer) as well as a center for information, education, and dispute settlement. The imam leads the congregation in prayer.

The week celebration slated every February 1-7 is pursuant to the United Nations Resolution 65/5 adopted last October 2010 declaring the first week of February as the World Interfaith Harmony Week which gives importance and emphasis on interreligious dialogue and understanding as a way of bridging people.

It’s a way of enhancing mutual respect, understanding and unity among people of different beliefs and cultures, said Musa Mohamad Sanguila, director, Pakigdait Incorporated, Iligan City/Lanao del Norte.

Pakigdait, Inc. is spearheading the visitation on February 5, 2014 at Poblacion, Matungao, Lanao Del Norte, in coordination with religious and secular leaders from around the city and in this province.

The program starts with an interfaith prayer followed by a welcome remarks of the host town Mayor Aisha Azis and the presentation of the objective and rationale of the activity by Pakigdait Director Sanguila.

Sr. Liza Ruedas of Ranaw Muslim Christian Dialogue for Peace is tasked to do the Reading of the Resolution 65/5–World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Giving a minute to share their statement of peace and support are Prof. Sukarno Tanggol, Ph.D, chancellor, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT); Col. Demy T. Tejares, brigade commander, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army; P/SSupt. Madid M. Paitao, provincial director, Police Provincial Office-Philippine National Police, Lanao del Norte; Bishop Stephen L. Villaester, chairperson, Interfaith Council; Capt. Mohd Izzudin Ahmad of International Monitoring Team (IMT); and Kamran Shah of Non-Violent Peaceforce. Board Member Grecille I. Matalines of the First District, Lanao del Norte also give her message of peace and support representing the provincial government.

Invited as keynote speaker of the day is Dr. Potre Diampuan, Ph.D, the Regional Coordinator of the United Religions Initiative-Southeast Asia and the Pacific (URI-SEAPac).

The program ends with a sharing of the Beliefs and Practices by the Host Religion: Islam, and an open forum is handled by the moderator Director Sanguila.

Pakigdait ug Pag-Amoma Alang sa Kalinaw or Pakigdait, Inc. is an interfaith grassroot peacebuilding civil society organization based in Iligan City and Lanao del Norte. It has four services which cater to Grassroot Peacebuilding Programs, Conflict Resolution, Management and Transformation Programs, Peace Advocacy, LGU Engagement and Networking Programs, and Community Enterprise and Micro-Project for Peace Programs.

In his statement, Rev. Fr. Regino R. Quijano, Chairman of the Board Director, Pakigdait Inc. said, “In the community where the conflict is present, peace can be planted and nurtured.” (lvgabule, PIA-10 LDN)

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