FEBRUARY 2, 2013
PM joins religious bodies at World Interfaith Harmony Week observance
Georgetown, GINA, February 1, 2013
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, performing the duties of president today joined representatives of various religious bodies to launch World Interfaith Harmony week at the National Cultural Centre (NCC).
Present at the event also were Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, United Nations Development Programme Representative, Khadija Musa and members of various religious bodies at the Inter Faith Harmony Week observance at the National Cultural Centre
The United Nations (UN) declared the first week in February every year as World Interfaith Harmony week for all religions faiths and beliefs. It is aimed at promoting peace, love and harmony among all regardless of their faith, and brings a mutual understanding of religious dialogue that constitutes an important dimension of culture.
Prime Minister Hinds during his keynote address stated that this event was of much importance as Guyana joined the rest of the world to commit to interfaith harmony.
Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds browsing one of the religious displays.
“Unless we be like seeds that fall on stony grounds, seeds which sprang up at once but when the sun rose they were scorched and withered because they had no soil……we must face up to the differences and the areas of contradiction in rituals and beliefs.”
PM Hinds said that religious and cultural leaders have a responsibility to speak the language of tolerance in their respective communities, and urged religious leaders to reach out to young people with the message of hope. “Too often, young people are jobless and facing a future of uncertainty,” he said.
One of the religious leaders explaining his religion to some of the attendees
The history of mankind is full of conflicts among nations of different faiths, and this event brought together leaders to interact, and at the same time learn from each other’s moral teachings.
Mr. Hinds said that the world needs interfaith harmony now more than ever before, not only to minimise the potentials for conflicts at various levels or to defuse any clash of civilisation, but to establish accord and create a better environment.
Guyana’s constitution endorses the freedom of religion and the PM said he is proud of such liberty which allows Guyanese to be a part of what they believe in.
UNDP representative, Khadija Musa, who spoke on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said for billions of people around the world “faith”, is an essential foundation of life. It also provides strength in times of difficulty and an important.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, United Nations Development Programme Representative, Khadija Musa and religious leaders at the World Inter Faith Harmony Week observance
Musa said the UN is engaged in defining a post – 2015 sustainable development agenda intended to eradicate extreme poverty and promote a critical opportunity for all, while protecting the environment. She said that all the leaders have a role to play in this initiative.
There were prayers and reflections by the Hindu, Christian Muslim and Rastafarian faiths at today’s event.
On Sunday there will also be an Interfaith Harmony walk, followed by a cultural activity at the Promenade Gardens.