Multiple events look to promote interfaith harmony

In News by 1 Billion Rising Lower Mainland Initiative

Sarah Ford
Staff writer
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012

Religious Life at DU will host events beginning tomorrow and ending on Feb. 9 to celebrate Interfaith Harmony Week, a tradition recently established by the United Nations to spread awareness about students of different faiths.

University Chaplain Reverend Gary Brower has outlined several events that DU will host in celebration of Interfaith Harmony Week, which are aimed at getting students of both religious and non-religious backgrounds involved.

“We want to highlight inter-religious themes,” said Reverend Brower. “These provide opportunities fostering understanding and respect for people who are different.”
Events for the week, which have been extended through next week to accommodate for students’ absences during Winter Carnival, will include volunteer opportunities at the African Center, a poster viewing in the chapel and a dinner discussion for several students with the Chaplain. Other possible events have yet to be announced.

The poster viewing, planned to take place on the Feb. 9, will involve posters made by students of the Wellness Living and Learning Community, and will be on display in the chapel. During the viewing, students will have the opportunity to make their own prayer bead sets celebrating whichever religion they choose.
There will also be a dinner discussion for several students on Feb. 9 that will center on the theme of “what we bring to the table” and will allow students of different religions to answer questions about their faith.

“We want students to be engaged in several ways and in different ways,” said Brower. “We are encouraging them to engage with discussion, crafts, volunteerism and more.”
Students can look for more information on upcoming events and how to get involved in the coming week.
Interfaith Harmony Week was proposed by H.M. King Abdullah of Jordan at the United Nations on Sept. 23, 2010, and was passed by an unanimous vote on Oct. 20 of that year. The aim of the celebration was to have one week each year where “all interfaith groups and groups of goodwill become aware of each other and strengthen their movements,” as proposed by the resolution.

After its passing, the tradition received 300 letters of support from leaders around the world, and in the first celebration in 2011 there were more than 200 events held in 40 countries.
Now DU will join much of the world in hosting events to foster understanding and acceptance of other religions among the religious community on campus.