The World Interfaith Harmony Week
Posted by Online on Feb 1st, 2012 // No Comment
MANILA, Philippines — To promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions, the United Nations, through an initiative proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan, kicked off the first World Interfaith Harmony Week in February 1-7, 2011. The proposal highlighted Muslims, Christians, and Jews for their participation and for making up 55 percent of the world’s population. The resolution, however, was drafted to exclude no one.
The observances are meant to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace,” according to the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly. The week is an opportunity for interfaith advocates, religious and government leaders, and people from all walks of life to celebrate the common ground they share as people of faith, and take a united stand against any form of violence in the name of religion.
Most religions have finally reached an acceptable state of peace and tolerance. History has shown that not only do these attitudes carry a dangerous risk of expression in acts of religious hatred, but they hinder any form of constructive dialogue among faiths that may enrich their understanding of one another. Misunderstanding seems to be the primary contributor to discord and it is important to recognize the possibility that the different religions can actually gain through communications.
Some conflicts have been incited and intensified by religions. Too often we put religion in the “too difficult box” but no matter how difficult it is to talk about religion, it is dangerous not to. Those who ferment religious extremism and prejudice have no hesitation speaking out as loudly as they can, claiming dominance of their ideas. The silent majority need to speak up and counter the intolerance, so that voices of moderation ignorance, cooperation, open mindedness, and respect can all be heard together.
World Interfaith Harmony Week stands out as the first global acknowledgment of the importance of interfaith cooperation and understanding for world peace and prosperity, and sends a message to all faiths that it is always good to have friends in time of crisis but it is even better to have friends all the time. CONGRATULATIONS!