First proposed by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan at the UN General Assembly in September 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1 – 7) is an opportunity for all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to come together and show the world what a force for good they are. The common values held by all interfaith groups far outweigh the differences they have, and the Week allows all groups to be aware of each other and the work they are doing.
Events are planned and held across the globe, uniting Catholics with Lutherans, Scientologists, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, and other groups in a multifaith community. The gatherings include worship services, lectures, picnics, musical performances, meditative walks, and youth festivals.
Here in Australia, the festivities during World Interfaith Harmony Week have included art exhibitions, communal picnics and games days, multilingual story time in local libraries, joint scripture studies, and indigenous ceremonial walks.
The purpose is threefold, to demonstrate the strength to be found in unity; to promote the work being done; and to deliver peace and harmony to interfaith and goodwill communities.
Catholic involvement in the Week has focused on deeper and more respectful relations with Christians of other communities and the importance of seeing God in one another. Friendships among different faiths, despite differences in practices, serve to remind us all that what unites us is more than what divides us and in the words of Pope Francis, we must “build a future together or there will be no future.”
This is a week to explore and discover more about other faiths and their special days including:
Inspired by our faith, CatholicCare Sydney is committed to supporting individuals and families in need regardless of their age, gender, and beliefs. Find out more about the people we help or support our work today.