General Assembly asks individuals, organisations to host events during February’s first week to help neighbours of different faiths to know each other for more friendly communities
LAHORE: Pakistanis also joined the World Interfaith Harmony Week, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2010, to support mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue to constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
The General Assembly encourages all member states to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the mosques, churches, temples, synagogues and other places of worship during that week, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
Addressing a press conference at the Nisar Usmani Auditorium of the Lahore Press Club, National Council for Interfaith Peace & Harmony leaders requested everyone to give all respect to each and every person without any religious, sectarian or ethnic discrimination for economically stronger and prosperous Pakistan.
LIVING TOGETHER MOVEMENT
National Council’s leaders Javaid William, Dr Majeed Abel, Dr Masood Ahmad, Mufti Ashiq Hussain, Prof Kalyan Sing Kalyan, Allama Zubair Ahmad Virk, and other leaders informed journalists about the Living Together Movement that is an important civic initiative designed to help prevent and resolve ethnic, racial and religious conflicts through dialogue, and open-hearted discussions.
They said that members of the Living Together Movement are peace-driven individuals who recognize the same humanity in all peoples and are passionate about bridging the gap between different races, ethnicities, religions, political views, genders, generations and nationalities in order to increase respect, tolerance, acceptance, understanding and harmony.
They said that all religions and sects should cooperate with each other to create peace, and to promote values of coexistence in the society. They asked all citizens to restore compassion, respect and tolerance to the centre of morality and religion and to teach each other that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence or hatred is illegitimate.
“We have to ensure that young people are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures,” they said. “We have to end duality and adopt values from different religions so that we may be able to create an atmosphere where everyone might have religious freedom,” they also said, adding the religion must be used to end differences among the masses.
They said that they are ready to bring women together to create awareness about peace and harmony and to develop family unit where peace and harmony, respect and acceptance of difference becomes important to bring positive changes in the society. They urged leaders of different religions to include the message of peace and social harmony, brotherhood, acceptance and coexistence in prayer sessions.
The Interfaith Harmony Week encourages grassroots events that link people together in a global wave of understanding, respect, and action. The National Council for Interfaith Peace & Harmony believes that observing the week and helping individuals to host events is an extension of their mission to cultivate harmony among the religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world.