In celebration of the inaugural World Interfaith Harmony Week, Victorian based religious and spiritual leaders and interfaith practitioners, have been invited to a Luncheon in Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne, on Tuesday 1st February, 2011 at 12.30 pm.
Professor David de Kretser, AC, Governor of Victoria and Mrs Jan de Kretser will be Guests of Honour at the Luncheon.
Invitations have been extended to Parliamentary Ministers of the newly formed Government to attend the Luncheon in order to meet with the Interfaith Community of Victoria and to celebrate the inaugural UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
On 20th October, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first week of February of every year, the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs. ‘Love of God and Love of the Neighbour or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour’ are found in all our Holy Texts and are the Substance of our faiths and beliefs. These values are recognised in all faiths.
While this inaugural event is to be celebrated, we are mindful of the recent local flood disasters in Queensland and the people who have lost their loved ones and homes. We are encouraged by the Love of Neighbour that has poured out from Australians, and from distant overseas Neighbours, to those people in distress and communities in devastation. Some 12,000 people have registered as volunteers to assist in clean up and community rehabilitation. Community strength and unity are the key to getting through such events.
UN Proclaims World Interfaith Harmony Week
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 21 – The UN General Assembly late Wednesday adopted a consensus resolution, proposed by Jordan, proclaiming the first week of February of every year “World Interfaith Harmony Week” among all faiths and beliefs.
World Interfaith Harmony Week was introduced by Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammad, the Personal Envoy and Special Advisor to the King of Jordan, the resolution recognized the urgent need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among peoples. The Prince said the Assembly was well aware the world was rife with religious tension, mistrust, and hatred, which facilitated war and violence. The remedy for such problems could only come from the world’s religions themselves, and although much good work had already been done towards that end, religious tensions were on the rise.
The resolution, he explained, would seek to turn the tide against that negative movement by coordinating and uniting efforts among all interfaith groups doing positive work through one focused annual theme. At the same time, it would harness the collective might of places of worship for peace and harmony and regularly encourage the “silent majority” of preachers to commit themselves on the record for peace and harmony.
He said the proposal was purely voluntary and no place of worship should be forced to observe “World Interfaith Harmony Week”. The resolution, he added, also “excludes no individual, compromises no one, commits no one, forces no one, harms no one, costs nothing, and – on the contrary – includes everyone, celebrates everyone, benefits everyone, unites everyone and has the potential to bring much needed peace and harmony to the entire world, InshaAllah”.
UN Documents for World Interfaith Harmony Week
UN Resolution Adopted
H.M. King Abdullah II’s Speech to the United Nations, H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad’s Speech reading the Declaration to the General Assembly along with further documentation are available on the World Interfaith Harmony Week Website.