New Zealand: Interfaith Harmony Week 2017
by Geoffrey Fyers, UPF New Zealand
On February 11 2017 we held an event to commemorate the United Nations Interfaith Harmony week. The program involved visiting three centers of worship around Auckland city, and having the hosts at each venue share their views on how interfaith integrates with their activities.
We invited our network of Ambassadors for Peace & friends to join our touring group, this gave them an experience of Interfaith in action.
The places of worship were very diverse, Christian Presbyterian, Buddhist Soka Gakkai, and Sikh.
Like many developed countries, New Zealand has become very multicultural so Interfaith and Intercultural understanding is essential to promote social integration and stability.
Our group was very warmly received at each venue. Speakers shared their faiths’ vision and practice, commenting on how they felt they are contributing to their communities.
At each site, after the formal address we were able to share individually with the host community members, further cementing friendships.
At the conclusion of the day we collectively felt that this way of commemorating the UNIFHW was a very valuable for our interfaith work and that we should make it an annual event.