World Interfaith Harmony Week to be celebrated yearly in Feb

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Herald Malaysia Online

The UN General Assembly on Oct 20 adopted a consensus resolution, proposed by Jordan, proclaiming the first week of February of every year World Interfaith Harmony Week among all faiths and beliefs. Introduced by Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammad, the Personal Envoy and Special Advisor to the King of Jordan, the resolution recognized the urgent need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among peoples.

The Prince said the Assembly was well aware the world is rife with religious tension, mistrust, and hatred, which facilitates war and violence. The remedy for such problems could only come from the world’s religions themselves, and although much good work had already been done towards that end, religious tensions were on the rise.

The resolution, he explained, would seek to turn the tide against that negative movement by coordinating and uniting efforts among all interfaith groups doing positive work through one focused annual theme. At the same time, it would harness the collective might of places of worship for peace and harmony and regularly encourage the “silent majority” of preachers to commit themselves on the record for peace and harmony. He said the proposal was purely voluntary and no place of worship should be forced to observe World Interfaith Harmony Week. The resolution, he added, also “excludes no individual, compromises no one, commits no one, forces no one, harms no one, costs nothing, and — on the contrary — includes everyone, celebrates everyone, benefits everyone, unites everyone and has the potential to bring much needed peace and harmony to the entire world, InsyaAllah.” (see box) — KUNA

Resolution

Recognizing the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people; Recalling with appreciation various global, regional and sub-regional initiatives on mutual understanding and interfaith harmony including, inter alia, the Tripartite Forum for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, and the A Common Word, Recognizing that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions, and beliefs call for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding:

1. Reaffirms that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace;

2. Proclaims the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs;

3. Encourages all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Temples and other places of Worship during that week based on Love of God and Love of the Neighbour, or based on Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions;

4 - Requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly informed of the implementation of the present resolution.

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