Interfaith Harmony Week 2013 Celebrated in Metro Manila

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Manila, Philippines – His Eminence Antonio Cardinal G. Tagle led the celebration of the World Interfaith Harmony Week held last February 1-7, 2013 with the theme “Celebrating Interfaith Harmony for Love and Service to God and One Another.” The breakfast dialogue meeting included multi-religious leaders, members of the diplomatic community, key government officials, peace advocates, and children organized by the Uni-Harmony Partners Manila convened by Religions for Peace Philippines.

The Interfaith Harmony Week celebration, according to Cardinal Tagle, seeks to promote mutual understanding and advance common action. He said that “friendship and sincere relationships are prerequisites to achieving these aims.”

“It is in this landscape that children will appreciate the beauty of our various faiths and grow in harmony with one another,” he added.

The week-long celebration included activities held in various places that will spread the message of interfaith harmony, dialogue and cooperation listed below:

Interfaith Women’s Festival – a gathering of women from various interfaith groups who celebrated and shared about “the gift of womanhood” based on their faith and how friendship among them can help bring unity and harmony through what is common, uplifting, and up-building.

Isang Bayan, Isang Bayanihan: An Interfaith-Led Nation Building Summit for Filipino Youth – a festive gathering of youth featuring stories of harmonious interaction of people from various religious traditions.

Fora on “Shared Values as a Foundation of Muslim-Christian Harmony,” “Harmony with Creation: An Interfaith Perspective” and “Discovery of Love of Neighbor and the Golden Rule” – held separately for audiences in different venues to raise public awareness on the challenges and aspirations of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.

The religious and the civic leaders together with the people, gathered at the Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila as a culmination of the activities. It was an afternoon festival replete with music, inspirational speeches and interfaith prayers which marked the closing of the harmony week. It was during this occasion that the Harmony Message was presented to the public calling for all religious communities, interfaith organizations, peace advocates and the government to spread the message of harmony, dialogue and cooperation.

The Uni-Harmony Partners Manila is a collaborative activity of the following organizations: Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan-Center for Active Non-Violence, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Interfaith Dialogue, Catholic Media Network, Department of Foreign Affairs, Dominican Justice, Peace and Care for Creation Commission, Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation, EDSA People Power Commission, Focolare Movement, Miriam College Center for Peace Education, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Parish of St. John the Baptist (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene), Religions for Peace Philippines, Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Teodora, Quiapo Golden Mosque, Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple, Imam Council of the Philippines, University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies, and University of Santo Tomas Center for Peace Studies and Interfaith Dialogue.

Press Conference of Leaders/Representatives from Interfaith Groups