Germany: World Interfaith Harmony Week
By Gregor Sattler, UPF Germany
On February 3, 2019, UPF Bonn hosted an event attended by participants from various religious back-grounds and world views, as a part of Interfaith Harmony Week, which takes place annually in the first week of February.
A proposal made by King Abdullah II of Jordan resulted in a resolution made by the UNO on 20 October 2010 establishing the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Thus, the General Assembly of the UNO: ‘’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 one’s neighbor or on love of the good and love of one’s neighbor, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions.’’
This week, which is gives an opportunity for groups and societies to make contributions towards a more peaceful and harmonious world, is hardly observed in Germany and barely recognized by the general public. However, UPF wishes to encourage communication and to explore possibilities for mutual cooperation.
The program in Bonn included: an explanation about the contributions made towards peace by UPF and the Interreligious Peace Network, Bonn (IFN); a video presentation about the ideas behind ‚the Global Ethic Project‘ (Prof. Hans Küng); the presentation of „One Book for Peace“; projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an overview of the territorial development of world religions over five millennia with information about their Holy Cities. These topics stimulated great interest in the audience as evidenced by the resulting questions and comments.
Then following readings of prayers and texts from different religions by the participants.
Of special interest were two videos from YSP (Youth and Students for Peace) Germany, a “global network of young people who aspire for peace beyond national, cultural and religious barriers’’ (Click to watch a Video ). The donations collected at the UPF event will go towards supporting the next YSP Interfaith Workshop, scheduled for 12-16 April.