Once again Seychelles will this year join the rest of the world to commemorate the ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’ from February 1 to 7.
The Seychelles Interfaith Council (Sifco) is encouraging all faiths and religious denominations in the country to during this week place more emphasis on raising awareness on the importance of harmony among people, nations and different communities regardless of their different faiths and beliefs.
Last year Sifco members visited the Vinayagar Hindu Temple to learn more about the Hindu faith and this year on February 7 they will meet members of the Brahma Kumaris at their centre at Hermitage .
World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution A/RES/65/5 adopted on October 20, 2010. The UN then designated the first week of February every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week which has been observed since February 2011.
In the resolution, the General Assembly points out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
Recognising the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people, the General Assembly encourages all States to during that week support the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
“This age of globalisation needs enlightened people in each faith who can examine their sacred writings and traditions and identify the aspects that can benefit all humanity as well as those that preserve each religion’s identity,” the UN stated. The UN designated the first week of February every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week.
The then Secretary general of the UN Ban Ki-moon stated that the “World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the principles of tolerance and respect for the other that are deeply rooted in the world’s major religions. The observance is also a summons to solidarity in the face of those who spread misunderstanding and mistrust.”