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Interfaith Harmony Week 2013

Observances by the Universal Peace Federation and partner organizations of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2013

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.

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Interfaith Harmony Week 2013

  1. 1. Argentina Austria Brazil Canada Denmark Ecuador Germany India Indonesia Japan Malaysia Moldova Nepal New Zealand Pakistan Russia Slovakia Thailand Ukraine US
  2. 2. The UN designated the first week of February every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week with the motto of "Love of God and Love of the Neighbor" / "Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor."
  3. 3. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Interfaith prayers at a youth service program
  4. 4. VIENNA, AUSTRIA: An event at the International Center promoting a culture of peace
  5. 5. SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: A forum of religious leaders at the Sao Paulo City Hall
  6. 6. MONTREAL, CANADA: Ambassadors for Peace forum on pluralism
  7. 7. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: A gathering for interreligious prayers
  8. 8. QUITO, ECUADOR: Interfaith conversations and prayers for harmony among religions
  9. 9. MUNICH, GERMANY: Interfaith prayers for peace
  10. 10. STUTTGART, GERMANY: A gathering at the House of Religion introducing meditation practices
  11. 11. NEW DELHI, INDIA: Winner of a university debate competition
  12. 12. LUCKNOW, INDIA: Lighting a lamp to begin an interfaith program
  13. 13. JAKARTA, INDONESIA: A program at the auditorium of the People’s Conscience Party - HANURA
  14. 14. JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Student response to a program at the Government High School SMAN 6
  15. 15. TOKYO, JAPAN: Offering prayers at the Yasukuni Shrine for victims of the earthquake and tsuami
  16. 16. TOKYO, JAPAN: A Shinto priest offers prayers at an interfaith Ambassadors for Peace gathering
  17. 17. KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Faith leaders joining in a peace ceremony
  18. 18. CHISINAU, MOLDOVA: Interfaith volleyball tournament
  19. 19. KATHMANDU, NEPAL: Winner of a student essay contest about interfaith harmony
  20. 20. AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Making new friends after presentations about different faiths
  21. 21. MULTAN, PAKISTAN: Muslims, Hindus, and Christians at an interfaith breakfast
  22. 22. MULTAN, PAKISTAN: Candlelight ceremony at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Shams Tabrez
  23. 23. MULTAN, PAKISTAN: Participants in a debate and essay competition at the Pastoral Institute
  24. 24. MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Ambassadors for Peace shared experiences of working in interfaith settings.
  25. 25. KAMENSK, RUSSIA: A discussion about the question “Harmony of beliefs as a road to peace?”
  26. 26. NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA: Joining for prayers from various faith traditions.
  27. 27. PERM, RUSSIA: Children make pictorial greetings that will be sent to students in Kyrgyzstan.
  28. 28. ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA: A roundtable on promoting intercultural and interfaith understanding
  29. 29. UFA, RUSSIA: Learning about various faiths during a Religious Youth Service Project
  30. 30. YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA: Ambassadors for Peace learn about various faiths.
  31. 31. BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA: People brave winter weather to attend an interfaith prayer service.
  32. 32. BANGKOK, THAILAND: A seminar on interreligious principles for strengthening families
  33. 33. KIEV, UKRAINE: Plans were made to promote ideas of interfaith tolerance and understanding.
  34. 34. SALT LAKE CITY, USA: Annual interfaith awards ceremony
  35. 35. UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK: A program at the UN General Assembly Hall