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World Interfaith Harmony Week - the Universal Peace Federation

UN General Assembly President Hosts World Interfaith Harmony Week in New York

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High-level representatives of the United Nations Secretariat, Member States, religious leaders, and the United Nations NGO community, including the Universal Peace Federation, attended the World Interfaith Harmony Week in New York.

World Interfaith Harmony Week

The first week of February every year has been designated World Interfaith Harmony Week by the United Nations General Assembly, with the theme "Love of God and Love of the Neighbor" / "Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor."

The Children’s Theater Company
The Children’s Theater Company
Hanifa Mezoui (Office of the President of the General Assembly) and Thomas Walsh (UPF)
Hanifa Mezoui (Office of the President of the General Assembly) and Thomas Walsh (UPF)

“Faith can be a strong ally of the United Nations,” said Katherine Marshall of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, USA. “Although the United Nations is not a faith institution, it is nevertheless a product of all the world’s faiths and the universal human longing for peace.”

“We all need to update our mentality to meet the challenges of our time,” said Ven. Dr. Chung Ohun Lee, Won Buddhism International. “Interreligious understanding and cooperation may be the most effective instrument for world peace because religions are a vital agent for change." She referred to the Buddhist understanding that everyone and everything are interconnected. "Interfaith dialogue may help everyone to see the ties that connect us all.”

Rev. Michael Beckwith, who leads the Agape International Spiritual Center, a California megachurch, quoted from Hans Kung, saying “There will be no peace in the world without peace among religions; there will be no peace among religions without dialogue among religions.” Yet there are different levels of peace, he said. At its worst, peace is based on exclusivity and separation. “Peace at its best is meeting at the center of our being,” he said. “Science makes the world a neighborhood; but religion makes a brotherhood and sisterhood.”

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