2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week

2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week

News Release

The Uniharmony Partners Manila aims to spread the message of interfaith harmony, dialogue and cooperation as key elements toward nation building.

A respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world’s faiths is one of the hallmarks of Mormonism. From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith elevated the principle of religious liberty and tolerance: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11).

In that same spirit, Church President Thomas S. Monson made a plea during general conference, a semiannual worldwide meeting, for more religious understanding: “I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours” (April 2008 General Conference address). Latter-day Saints accept all sincere believers as equals in the pursuit of faith and in the great work of serving humanity.

World Interfaith Harmony Week, 1-7 February 2016

Rationale:

The UN General Assembly proclaimed World Interfaith Harmony Week as an annual event to be observed during the first week of February starting 2011 in resolution A/RES/65/5 adopted on 20 October 2010. In the resolution, the General Assembly, points out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

Responding to this global call for harmony and solidarity, the Uniharmony Partners Manila was established in 2011 to implement programs and activities during the World Interfaith Harmony Week. The main goal of the celebration is to strengthen unity and cooperation between and among religions and faith-based organizations and to advocate peace and harmony in society.

In April 2013, Republic Act 10525 was enacted declaring the First Week of February of every year as “World Interfaith Harmony Week” in the entire country. Section 1 states that “All government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations as well as local government units, are hereby mandated to carry out the observance of activities designed to advance the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in accordance with religious traditions and practices.

The Uni-Harmony Partners Manila aims, through a series of activities, to spread the message of interfaith harmony, dialogue and cooperation as key elements towards nation building.

Objectives:

To organize activities in solidarity with the global celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week;

To foster friendship and advance common action between and among the interfaith communities;

To promote awareness on the challenges and aspirations of the World Interfaith Harmony Week; and,

To witness to love, mercy and compassion as wellsprings of harmony and mechanisms of dialogue.

Uniharmony Partners:

*Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

*Ministry of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs, Archdiocese of Manila

*University of Santo Tomas-Institute of Religion

*Religions for Peace Philippines

*University of the Philippines-Institute of Islamic Studies

*Silsilah Dialogue Movement

*Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

*SM Group of Companies

*Imam Council of the Philippines

*Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

*Miriam College-Center for Peace Education

*Peacemakers' Circle

*Focolare Movement

*United Religions Initiative Philippines (URI)

*Pacific Dialogue Foundation

*Interfaith Council of Leaders-Quiapo

*PNP Chaplain Services

*Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple

*Aksiyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan-

Center for Active Non-Violence for Phil., Inc.

AKKAPKA-CANV

*Teodora: In Defense of the Authentic Woman

*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-Philippines, Public Affairs Department

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