World Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration Hosted in Lahore, Pakistan
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is a global partner of grassroots organizers in observing UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. The events of World Interfaith Harmony Week hosted by FACES Pakistan were official Parliament-affiliated celebrations of the 2019 World Interfaith Harmony Week.
During the first week of February, FACES Pakistan, hosted a series of events in observance of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. FACES Pakistan is dedicated to, “engage and advocate for change by creating an enabling environment for participatory governance and sustainable collective action at the most fundamental level in the community, through community organization and animation of the marginalized sections of society for the development of their capacities.”
The first event of the World Interfaith Harmony Week was an interfaith seminar that marked the launch of the celebration at Jamia Bait-ul- Quran (mosque). The event was attended by four main religious groups: Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. At the seminar, a presenter stated that “At the focal point of all the certainty systems and traditions is the affirmation that we are all in this together and that we need to love and reinforce each other to live in friendliness and agreement in an earth sensible world. It is essential that we invest more energy to spread the message of good neighborliness subject to our fundamental mankind, a message shared by all certainty traditions.”
The second event was a conference focused on engagement local media (mainly print and electronic), discussing the role of the media in promoting Interfaith Harmony. The conference allowed for an important discussion on how the media can be a positive catalyst in promoting Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan.
The third event was focused on reflection and prayer. Attendees visited various places of worship (predominantly Mosques and Churches) and held prayer services together. This event also focused on spreading awareness about the World Interfaith Harmony Week to the community.
The fourth and final event of the World Interfaith Harmony Week series was focused on the next generation. A seminar on the value of education in regards to World Interfaith Harmony Week was held with children. The event also marked the launch of an initiative known as “Book Van” where an assortment of books were distributed to further highlight the values of interfaith harmony.
FACES Pakistan places great emphasis on the importance of interfaith harmony and understanding, a representative from the organization Javaid William states “We believe that peace security and people’s solidarity are the pre-conditions for sustainable development”.