Throughout 2019, the Parliament will be convening successful interfaith organizers to share World Interfaith Harmony Week experiences in order to help individuals, organizations, and organizers around the world as guests of the Parliament's World Interfaith Harmony Week Webinar Series.
On January 18th, 2018, we hosted the first webinar of our World Interfaith Harmony Week Webinar Series. Aftab Ahmed, the manager of the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week Prize, joined us for a special in-depth look of World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Here are 5 things we learned about World Interfaith Harmony Week and we think you should know:
1. World Interfaith Harmony Week is not an organization
The World Interfaith Harmony Week initiative is inspired by the Amman Message and A Common Word Initiatives, which originated in Jordan. There is no organization or centralized organizers but the initiative is maintained year around through their website and social media. Aftab manages the prize and works with a standing committee of judges who review event reports and select the annual prize winners.
2. World Interfaith Harmony Week has no yearly theme
Because World Interfaith Harmony Week is decentralized there is no annual theme. Rather, Aftab recommends focusing on the three main principles of the observance when organizing an event:
I. Love of the God
II. Love of the Good
III. Love of the Neighbor
3. No World Interfaith Harmony Week event is too small or too big!
Events are not judged on one-size fits all scale for the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week Prize. Judges look at these key areas:
the excellence of efforts
impact of events
scantiness of resources
consistent with the text
events specifically celebrating the World Interfaith Harmony Week
4. Events can be hosted before and after the first week of February
While the official United Nations observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week is February 1st through the 7th, events can be hosted from the last weekend of January to the first weekend in March in order to be eligible for the prize.
Organizers around the world often host events all year long - in early January, after the March 7th report deadline for the prize, and during local interfaith observances.
5. Interfaith organizers are encouraged to apply for the prize!
We have heard feedback from individuals who feel that having a monetary prize associated with the celebration of interfaith harmony takes away from the genuine spirit of interfaith connection and we want to make sure that organizers see World Interfaith Harmony Week as both a celebration and an opportunity for the great interfaith work being done around the world.
Whether you are a small interfaith group with few resources or an established interfaith organization, World Interfaith Harmony Week is one of the only opportunities to connect, share and be acknowledged the power of the interfaith movement. We hope you see that the prize is an opportunity to continue the great work being done at the local level for the betterment of our world.
Missed the webinar? Watch the recording! Available now on our YouTube Channel
The Parliament's World Interfaith Harmony Week Webinar Series is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in these webinars are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.