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Dr. Paul Eppinger
Title / Position
Arizona Interfaith Movement
Dear Global Family: Re: February, 2011 World Interfaith Harmony Week
On behalf of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, a non-profit organization comprised of 22 different and diverse faith traditions whose mission is to build bridges of understanding, respect and support for all people through the implementation of the Golden Rule, we would like to congratulate and thank HM King Abdullah II and HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan for initiating the idea of World Interfaith Harmony Week. Additionally, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the United Nations and all those countries and organizations which endorsed this initiative.
We strongly believe that World Interfaith Harmony Week indeed will help to build more trust, understanding, harmony and respect among followers of different religions and will create the opportunity for them to come together to resist forces of division that spread misunderstanding and mistrust among peoples of different religions. In addition to this, as stated by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, the author of the resolution, the week will also be a platform to co-ordinate and unite the efforts of all the interfaith groups doing positive work with one focused theme at one specific time annually, thereby increasing their collective momentum and eliminating redundancy
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week is an idea whose time has come and we strongly believe that one practical action that can make this happen is the Golden Rule. As you know, the Golden Rule which says ”treat others the way you want to be treated” is a pathway to peace, understanding, compassion, respect, harmony, democracy, and right human relationships. It has been affirmed in all religions of the world, traditions, indigenous cultures and secular philosophies as a fundamental principle of life and the foundation upon which a global ethic is founded. The message of the Golden Rule is simple, universal and powerful and is the most prevalent and universal moral principle in human history. Therefore, on the occasion of World Interfaith Harmony Week we appeal to all supporters of this initiative to live according to the teaching of the Golden Rule and to promote its teaching in order to bring more harmony among people of different religions and cultures.
In Arizona, we worked to have Arizona be the first Golden Rule state in the nation in 2003, then worked to obtain a state Golden Rule license plate that is a traveling billboard reminder to “LIVE THE GOLDEN RULE,” thus promoting kindness and civility in our communities. Then, through the gracious work of Mr. Mussie Hailu, Board Chairman of IPI, Regional Director of URI for Africa.
and Representative of URI at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, we took his appeal for a state proclamation to our Governor in Arizona. We are please to announce that in Arizona, we now honor April 5th as INTERNATIONAL GOLDEN RULE DAY. Our Governor, Janice K. Brewer, shared this proclamation first with our community publically at our 2010 Golden Rule Awards Banquet. This Banquet is an annual event we host to bring awareness to the Golden Rule, and to inspire people of our community to live the Golden Rule. As our Emcee, Mr. Pat McMahon, Radio and Television personality, so beautifully said of this event, “I’m fortunate in having numerous opportunities to participate in faith-based gatherings, but the Arizona Interfaith dinner I attended at the Phoenix Civic Plaza was one of the most diverse and inspiring events I’ve ever experienced.” We invite you to access our website, www.interfaitharizona.com for details of all our Golden Rule initiatives, education and events, all stemming from a Golden Rule basis. It is our sincere desire to promote the Golden Rule as a tool for our global family to use that will make our world a better and more peaceful place for all.
May we join together in building World Interfaith Harmony and Culture of Peace through the teaching of Golden Rule, and may there be Peace and World Interfaith Harmony in our lives, local communities and throughout the World.
Infinite blessings and May the Golden Rule Prevail.
With a passion for UNITY,
Dr. Paul Eppinger
Executive Director, Arizona Interfaith Movement