Parliament’s Finnish Fellows Bestow Golden Rule Award for World Interfaith Harmony Week

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Tapio Varis, Chair of global e-learning for UNESCO-(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and member of the board of directors of New York-based Center for Media & Peace Initiativeshas been bestowed with the prestigious Golden Rule Award. Varis has greatly contributed four decades to create a culture of peace, in promoting dialogue and values of new humanism.

The Golden Rule Award is awarded by the Interfaith Dialogue Network of Finland, which works in fellowship with Parliament of the World’s Religions.

“The Golden Rule Award is a stone given as a sign of gratitude to people who try to implement The Golden Rule in practice. The Golden Rule is the ground for dialogue but it is actually the process of dialogue that leads people to really walk on the path of Golden Rule”, says Heidi Rautionmaa, Finland’s Interfaith Dialogue Network Coordinator and Ambassador to the 2009 Parliament of World’s Religions.

Tapio Varis says that education programs must be the fruit of cooperation and communication between people. Present day technologies are starting to enable this and global media literacy can help us to achieve this.

“Internationalism and acceptance of cultural diversity mean having citizens who are committed to what happens to the planet and who are aware of the global scope of its problems. Only a media-based public sphere that promotes and gives direction to people´s participation can foster this new type of citizenship. This requires profound reform in the organization of the current communication networks as well as in their flows,” says Tapio Varis.

The award was presented at a Syrian dialogue and media event organized by The Faiths Without Borders and netmedia Baabeli, in cooperation with Myllypuro media library in Helsinki, during the 2013 World Interfaith Harmony Week. The Parliament has named Helsinki as one of its Cities of Peace.

Dr. Varis joins other prominent recipients of the Golden Rule Award including former Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

Previous Golden Rule awardees:

  • Professor Emeritus Reijo E. Heinonen, 2009
  • President of Finland Tarja Halonen, 2010
  • Fr. James Channan, OP and Grand Imam Maulana Abd-ul Khabir Azad, 2011

Interfaith Dialogue Network :

  • Helsinki Religious Forum of The United Religions Initiative (URI),
  • Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network in Finland
  • Living together in Cities
  • Faiths Without Borders
  • Netmedia Baabeli