UN World Interfaith Harmony Week - February
United Nations General Assembly Accepted by Consensus World Interfaith
by Judy Lee Trautman
I recently received an email from HRH Prince Ghazi of Jordan, the personal
envoy of HM King Abdullah II, that imparted wonderful news of a resolution
of the United Nations to designate the first week of February every year as
the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Hopefully NAIN member organizations will
want to support this wonderful week. Indeed, we ought to celebrate the
spirit of this week every day. Here is the text of the email:
In the Name of God
Salaam. Forgive the intrusion. I am writing to seek your help and
involvement. On October the 20th 2010 - a few days ago - the United Nations
General Assembly unanimously established the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
The resolution was first proposed by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan on
September 23rd 2010, and I myself had the honour of introducing and
explaining it at the UN. (Please see enclosed speech with resolution at
end.) The operative text of the Resolution says, remarkably:
World Interfaith Harmony Week
The General Assembly,
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 Neighbor, or based on Love of the Good and Love
of the Neighbor, each according to their own religious traditions or
4. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly informed of
the implementation of the present resolution.
We believe this idea has the potential to do a lot of good in the world by:
(1) 'Co-ordinating and uniting the efforts of all the interfaith groups
doing positive work with one focused theme at one specific time annually,
thereby increasing their collective momentum and eliminating redundancy.
(2) Harnessing and utilizing the collective might of the world's
second-largest infrastructure (that of places of worship - the largest being
that of education) specifically for peace and harmony in the world:
inserting, as it were, the right 'software' into the world's religious
(3) Permanently and regularly encouraging the silent majority of preachers
to declare themselves for peace and harmony and providing a ready-made
vehicle for them to do so. Moreover, if preachers and teachers commit
themselves on the record once a year to peace and harmony, this means that
when the next inter-religious crisis or provocation occurs, they cannot then
relapse into parochial fear and mistrust, and will be more likely to resist
the winds of popular demagoguery.'
However, your help is very much needed. Specifically, we need and gratefully
ask you to:
(1) Write a personal email or letter of support for this initiative and post
it at www.worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com at the appropriate place:
(2) Forwarding this email to all those on your email list who you think
might be interested in it and them to their friends and so on as much as
possible (please do not worry about this email address as it is set up for
this purpose and I will not be using it for anything else).
(3) Posting any resources you think would be important to theme of the World
Interfaith Harmony Week at www.worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com at the
(4) Organizing yourself an event or simple a sermon or a lecture or an event
on the first week of next February on the theme of Interfaith Harmony.
(5) Recording you event at www.worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com at the
appropriate place according to your own country.
Harmony and Peace need work, and the real beneficiary of love and charity
towards our neighbour is always ourselves, but we fully appreciate if you
cannot do any or all of this and thank-you anyway,
Salaam and best wishes,
The full text of Prince Ghazi's speech is to be found at
The Newsletter of the North American Interfaith Network, Inc.
Late Fall 2010