Interfaith Harmony Week 2011

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Events commemorating the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2011, organized by chapters of the Universal Peace Federation, World peace can be fully accomplished only when the wisdom and efforts of the world’s religious leaders are combined cooperatively and respectfully with the endeavors of national political leaders. Absent the recognition of spiritual principles, the world has drifted increasingly toward analyses and prescriptions that are materialistic and secular in nature. In so doing, we have lost sight of the profound wisdom to be found in humanity’s spiritual heritage. Global institutions must be built on a foundation that takes into account the full potential of the human being, not only as a political, economic, and social being, but also as a spiritual being with spiritual needs and a capacity for spiritual wisdom and insight. The legacy of the world’s great saints, prophets, sages, and spiritual leaders cannot be denied or discounted without ignoring what is most fundamental about the human being. In too many ways the history of religion has been marked by narrow sectarianism, strife, and competitive struggle with other faiths, all to the detriment of the cherished goals and teachings of the founders and scriptures. This cannot continue. The need to eliminate corruption, selfishness, and bad governance applies not only to all nations but also to all of the world’s religions. Lasting peace depends on cooperative partnerships between governments and religions, as well as NGOs and representatives of the private sector. The United Nations can benefit from a council of religious and spiritual leaders to bring broad vision and wisdom to the effort to address critical global problems. International conferences, publications, networking, and on-the-ground activism are mechanisms for interfaith cooperation and lay a foundation for spiritual renewal at the United Nations.
  • 1. UN General Assembly Resolution20 October 2010“Encourages all states to support, on a voluntarybasis, the spread of the message of interfaithharmony and goodwill in the world’schurches, mosques, synagogues, temples andother places of worship during that week, basedon love of God and love of one’s neighbour or onlove of the good and love of one’sneighbour, each according to their own religioustraditions or convictions.”
  • 2. UPF’s Contributions•The Universal Peace Federation held a majorInterfaith Conference and celebration in Seoul,South Korea.UPF encouraged its chapters to hold events in•celebration of the UN Week of Interfaith Harmony.UPF co-sponsored an event at the United•Nations in partnership with the Committee ofReligious NGOs at the United Nations.
  • 3. INTERFAITH HARMONY Seoul, Korea: Interfaith Assembly WEEK 2011 The program promoted interfaith cooperation in order to manifest to a divided world the way to enduring peace.
  • 4. INTERFAITH HARMONY Interfaith leaders preparing to speak WEEK 2011 Discussions of peaceful transitions to democracy emphasized the responsibilities of religious and spiritual leaders to help defuse long- standing tensions between different ethnic and minority groups.
  • 5. INTERFAITH HARMONY A welcome from the Grand Mufti of Seoul WEEK 2011 “All human beings are brothers and sisters. The Quran tells us we are here to love one another.” - Dr. Abdul Wahab Zahid Haq, Grand Mufti of Seoul, Korea
  • 6. INTERFAITH HARMONY Unity in diversity WEEK 2011 “I truly believe that with vision and leadership, within ten years, we can transform the entire world to end poverty, disease, family breakdown, violence and war.” – Ida Odinga, Ida Odinga Trust, Kenya
  • 7. INTERFAITH HARMONY Building a covenant of faith WEEK 2011 “A covenant of faith is quite different. It is made by people who share dreams, aspirations, and ideals. They dont need a common enemy, because they have a common hope.” - Edwin Shuker, Trustee, Sephardic Voices, United Kingdom
  • 8. INTERFAITH HARMONY Address from the UPF Chairman WEEK 2011 “When we are lacking in spiritual discipline and wisdom, peace is not possible. Peace arises when we are in a right relationship with God, when our mind and body are united.” – Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, International Chairman, UPF
  • 9. INTERFAITH HARMONY Seoul, Korea: Interfaith Assembly WEEK 2011 “God calls upon us leaders - especially religious leaders - in hope that we will stand against the injustices and evils of the world, and bestow His true love upon the world.” - Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Founder, Universal Peace Federation
  • 10. Selected International ReportsBarbados Japan Solomon IslandsCanada Kazakhstan St. LuciaCote d’Ivoire Korea SwitzerlandGermany Malaysia ThailandIndia Moldova TaiwanIndonesia Nepal USAIsrael RussiaItaly Slovakia
  • 11. INTERFAITH HARMONY Bridgetown, Barbados WEEK 2011 “The true value of life is not found in riches or fame, but in the simple finer things in life: love, peace, harmony, and happiness.” - Rev. Peter Oscar Phillips, President, Barbados National Peace Council
  • 12. INTERFAITH HARMONY Montreal, Canada WEEK 2011 “Harmony requires that we deliberately alter our behavior and our attitudes so that we can hear our brothers and sisters in God.” - Rev. Samuel King-Kabu, St. Ansgar Lutheran Church
  • 13. INTERFAITH HARMONY Ottawa, Canada WEEK 2011 The National Capital Peace Council met to listen to a Catholic priest discuss ways that religious people can address social evils.
  • 14. INTERFAITH HARMONY Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire WEEK 2011 In the midst of turmoil following last Novembers presidential elections, UPF-Cote dIvoire held an interreligious rally at a mosque in the colonial capital.
  • 15. INTERFAITH HARMONY Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire WEEK 2011 Religious leaders joined hands to pray for peace at a Christian church in the political capital of the nation.
  • 16. INTERFAITH HARMONY Munich, Germany WEEK 2011 Representatives of various religions spoke about their views about God, reconciliation, and peace building.
  • 17. INTERFAITH HARMONY Stuttgart, Germany WEEK 2011 Representatives of several religions discussed their religion’s contributions to peace and then lit candles for peace.
  • 18. INTERFAITH HARMONY New Delhi, India WEEK 2011 Young volunteers from various faiths worked together to clean up a park.
  • 19. INTERFAITH HARMONY Jakarta, Indonesia WEEK 2011 “Interfaith dialogue and cooperation must be reflected in our words and deeds.” - Dr. H. Abdul Mu’ti, Secretary of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah
  • 20. INTERFAITH HARMONY Daliet El Carmel, Israel WEEK 2011 People from Israel’s diverse faith communities enjoy a traditional Druze meal honoring Israeli government workers who promote better interfaith relations.
  • 21. INTERFAITH HARMONY Pesaro, Italy WEEK 2011 Representatives of various NGOs talked about ways religious people can encourage young leaders and work together to help end hunger.
  • 22. INTERFAITH HARMONY Tokyo, Japan WEEK 2011 Shinto, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian leaders offered prayers and read from their sacred writings.
  • 23. INTERFAITH HARMONY Almaty, Kazakhstan WEEK 2011 Participants from various religious backgrounds considered the qualities of exemplary peacemakers.
  • 24. INTERFAITH HARMONY Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia WEEK 2011 Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Sikh, and Bahai leaders participated in a program of prayers, music, and exchanges of ideas.
  • 25. INTERFAITH HARMONY Chisinau, Moldova WEEK 2011 Participants in a round-table discussion on “Interfaith cooperation as the important instrument of establishing the culture of peace in Moldova”
  • 26. INTERFAITH HARMONY Kathmandu, Nepal WEEK 2011 Leaders from seven faith traditions offered their perspectives on interfaith harmony at a gathering at the Peace Embassy.
  • 27. INTERFAITH HARMONY Kondopoga, Russia WEEK 2011 A Festival of Spiritual Music promoted better understanding and appreciation of various religious traditions.
  • 28. INTERFAITH HARMONY Moscow, Russia WEEK 2011 “Show the positive sides of your religion through action and personal example,” an NGO representative told a youth round-table forum.
  • 29. INTERFAITH HARMONY Moscow, Russia WEEK 2011 Participants in a “Play Football Make Peace” tournament between teams from four religious traditions congratulated each other for playing well.
  • 30. INTERFAITH HARMONY Novosibirsk, Russia WEEK 2011 An interreligious gathering promoted “love of God and love of your neighbor as the foundation of world peace.”
  • 31. INTERFAITH HARMONY Yekaterinburg, Russia WEEK 2011 Representatives of various religious groups offered prayers for peace and harmony according to their tradition.
  • 32. INTERFAITH HARMONY Nitra, Slovakia WEEK 2011 The Old Catholic Church in Nitra invited other groups to join them in a prayer and worship service.
  • 33. INTERFAITH HARMONY Honiara, Solomon Islands WEEK 2011 The Minister of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, along with several faith leaders, addressed a forum promoting interreligious understanding.
  • 34. INTERFAITH HARMONY Anse-la-Raye, St. Lucia WEEK 2011 Youth leaders of several denominations discussed ways of addressing the challenges of cooperation across religious barriers.
  • 35. INTERFAITH HARMONY Bienne, Switzerland WEEK 2011 Representatives of Switzerland’s diversity of religions and cultures participated in an interfaith water ceremony, pouring water into a common container.
  • 36. INTERFAITH HARMONY Taipei, Taiwan WEEK 2011 Buddhist and Christian scholars spoke theoretically about interfaith cooperation, and NGO representatives described best practices for promoting understanding among people of different religions.
  • 37. INTERFAITH HARMONY Bangkok, Thailand WEEK 2011 Representatives of Thailand’s faith communities assembled for a discussion about a proposal to establish a national interfaith council.
  • 38. INTERFAITH HARMONY Washington, DC, USA WEEK 2011 Diplomats joined civic and religious leaders at an interfaith luncheon during which H.E. Dr. Hussein Hassouna (right), Ambassador of the League of Arab States to the US, answered questions about recent changes in his native Egypt.
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