The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne is pleased to receive FIRST Prize of the prestigious international King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week Prize for 2018 on Tuesday 24th April, at the Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan.

His Majesty King Abdullah II presented the First Prize to Founder and Director

Rev. Helen Summers and Deputy Director Dr Nicholas Coleman for the event Who and Where Are We in a Changing World? held at Federation Square, on 24th February 2018.

The event was inspired by the value of Love of God and Love of the Neighbour or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour, the core value of the World Interfaith Harmony Week and linked the core value with Creation Stories from seven religious and spiritual traditions.

 

2018 King Abdullah and Dr N. Coleman

                                                       His Majesty King Abdullah II and Dr N. Coleman

Seven faith leaders shared their stories: Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy AO ( Wurundjeri Indigenous spirituality), Swami Sunishthananda (Vedanta Hindu tradition), Venerable Michael Lobsang Yeshe, (Tibetan Buddhist tradition), Imam Fadil Fachni, ( Islamic tradition), Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black (Progressive Jewish tradition), Fr Daniel Gai, (Holy Apostles Anglican Church, Sunshine, from the Christian Tradition) and Jasbir Singh Suropada (Sikh Tradition).

Leaders shared Creation Stories from their oral or written tradition, drawing on the literal, moral, symbolic and spiritual levels of understanding.  They wove together strands of religious teachings which give meaning to life and offered practical ways of caring for each other and the earth. The Report of the event and ten video segments can be viewed at www.worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com and on this website (www.interfaithcentre.org.au)

At the ceremony, HRH Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, chief advisor for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy to His Majesty the King, remarked that “this year those participating in the World Harmony Week have once again continued on the upward trend of holistic growth in quantity and – if I may say so – in quality”.

Second Prize went to Din Syamsuddin, the Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Indonesia for Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Dialogue and Cooperation, for the event Indonesia Celebrates World Interfaith Harmony Week: Commitment of Religious Leaders on National Unity. Third Prize went to Interfaith Glasgow for the event Friendship, Dialogue, Cooperation: Exploring Crucial Elements of Interfaith Harmony.

The 2018 Winners were accompanied to the Baptism Site of Jesus: Bethany beyond the Jordan, the Dead Sea and Petra.

In remarks on behalf of the winners, Rev. Summers of The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne said that since H.M. King Abdullah proposed the World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010, “many thousands of events have been held around the world bringing people of good will together, acknowledging that Love of God (or Love of the Good) and Love of the Neighbour is what we share in common and where there are differences, we show respect.

New relationships are formed, old misperceptions fall away, new understandings emerge, social action is undertaken and interfaith initiatives can lead to improvements in a government’s multicultural policy,” she noted.

Reverend Summers expressed her gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah for proposing the World Interfaith Harmony Week to the United Nations in 2010 , to the Royal Aal al- Bayt Institute for establishing the Prize in 2013, and to the Judges who made the selection of Prize Winners who promote world interfaith harmony.

2018 King Abdullah & Helen Summers

                                                  His Majesty King Abdullah & Rev.Helen Summers

The Judges:

H.R.H. Princess Areej Ghazi
H.B. Patriarch Theophilus III – Patriarch of the Holy City, Palestine and Jordan
H.E. Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a – former Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt
H.E. Bishop Munib Yunan – Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and President of the World Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
Sheikh Usama al-Sayyid Al-Azhari – Professor at Al-Azhar University
Father Nabil Haddad – Founder and Executive Director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Centre
Dr. Minwer Al-Meheid – Director of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought