URI CCs participating in WIHW in 2011

10 February 2011, 3:37 PM

See how the URI community celebrated World Interfaith Harmony Week 2011:

  • Unity and Diversity World Council CC, the Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation CC, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics CC, SARAH CC and the Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance CC, as well as dozens more interfaith and social justice organizations, hosted Peace Sunday on January 30 at 2pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Santa Monica. The theme was "The Cost of War, the Price of Peace." 
  • Tolerance CC and Lebanese Interfaith Initiative CC conducted a workshop on January 30 at Andalus Institute in Cairo, Egypt from 10am to 2pm for young activists in Egypt to share URI's work and to learn about concepts of interfaith and intercultural dialogue in media advocacy and civic projects. The title of the workshop was "Muslims & Christians: Don't be afraid, We shall live together." Support and media coverage was provided by Andalus Institute for Tolerance & Anti-violence studies and Radio Horytna. The training was followed by a visit to an important tourist interfaith site called "Mojama3 Adyan" or "Gathering of Faiths" where all participants in the workshop, who came from different cities in Egypt, gathered to show the world that unity among faiths in Egypt and Arab world and Middle East is possible.
  • Escuela de Amor CC and Of the Indigenous People of Argentina CC gathered in Buenos Aires on February 1 for an informal gathering celebrate the PPPs, which guide harmonic interfaith relationships in URI. All CC members were invited to bring food from their communities to share.
  • Think Peace Media and Communications CC and Naya CC launched "I Spy With My Little Eye," a photo and essay competition on February 1. Share your interfaith story by visiting http://www.1000kalema.org/
  • Volunteering for Peace CC took a group of American student to visit a community of cave dwellers for an interfaith discussion, and hosted an evening roundtable on interfaith work in Palestine. 
  • Associació UNESCO per al Diàleg Interreligiós AUDIR CC in Barcelona organized a WIHW gathering on February 2, which included a roundtable discussion and presentation about the contribution of religions to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
  • The Peacemakers' Circle, in celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, scheduled interfaith friendship “serenade” visits to different faith centers in Metro Manila in the Philippines: 
    • On February 3, in celebration of the Lunar New Year Temple Hippity-Hopping (welcoming the Year of the Rabbit!) and Interfaith HARANA 1, members visited Tibetan Buddhist temples around Sta. Mesa and Chinese-Buddhist temple in Chinatown in Metro Manila, attended a Sanghabi cultural workshop group and serenaded the Buddhist community with indigenous music;
    • On February 5 for Interfaith HARANA 2, members visited the Baha'i Faith Center and Muslim-Christian youths from Tala, Caloocan grassroots community serenaded the Bahaí community with Maranao Muslim dance;
    • On February 6 for Interfaith HARANA 3, members visited a Sikh Gurudwara temple, and Catholic Xaverian missionaries serenaded the Sikh community; and
    • On February 7 for Interfaith HARANA 4, members visited a Muslim mosque and Shinji Shumei Kai serenaded the Muslim community of Quiapo with Taiko drumming.
  • URI Global Support Staff and other local interfaith friends gathered for a World Interfaith Harmony Week breakfast on February 3 from 7:30-9am.
  • SARAH CC hosted the viewing of the award-winning film “On Common Grounds: Three Faiths, One Journey” at University Synagogue in Irvine, California on February 3 at 7pm. The film portrays how Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups try to overcome their differences by building a house together for a family in Mexico. SARAH was created by women who are in this documentary. A discussion with the director, Ahmad Zahra, followed.
  • The URI MENA office and Jordanian CCs gathered on February 5 at 3pm to visit a church and Mosque with religious leaders, both Christians and Muslims, and to pray from Jordan for love, peace and harmony. The URI MENA office also hosted a presentation on the main shrines in MENA and Cypress by photographer Mr. Abdel Raheem Arjan (www.arjanphoto.com). 
  • The Forum of Religions in Helsinki CC, in collaboration with Finland's Interfaith Dialogue Network and other local interfaith organizations, organized a World Interfaith Harmony Week event in Helsinki at the International Cultural Centre CAISA on February 5. People from different religions and traditions will gather to share their thoughts about harmony and multifaceted views around the world. There will also be music and poetry reading from different traditions, and a short DVD will be shown during the event as well. 
  • DMLB CC and URI Germany CC met in Bonn, Germany on February 5 to share an evening meal and participate in a prayer and meditation.
  • The URI office in the Philippines and the Peacemakers' Circle held an interfaith festival of arts and music, as well as visits to different places of worship on February 5.
  • URI CCS in East India and West India met in Asansol, West Bengal for the first time for a cultural exchange program in celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 6. Paul Livingstone from California played Indian Sitar with a local Santoor player and other members shared their culture and art with one another. 
  • URI Cosmic Community Centre CC members in Kerala, India, gathered on February 6 for a discussion of the message from UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. It was decided to involve as many schools and colleges possible in future celebrations. An inter-school quiz on world religions will be held on the February 12.
  • The URI Executive Council for the Asia region published and disseminated an interfaith harmony appeal for CCs to forward to their national and religious leaders.
  • TRUST WIN CC, MADA (Horizon)CC and Women Reborn CC held a Women's Interfaith Tree-Planting on the Goldman Promenade honoring Richard Goldman and Larry Halprin. They planted four trees with prayers from women representing the Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim religions. They were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, religious leaders, and Israeli and Palestinian neighbors and friends. They prayed for the power of the sisterhood of religious women to bring healing, calm, and restoration to their area and to the region.
  • URI Foundation Kenya and URI CCs in Nairobi organized an Interfaith Gathering at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church February 6 at 2pm in South B, Nairobi. Representatives from diverse faiths and faith organizations spoke on the topic harmony amongst different religions. Interfaith prayers were offered, candles lit and a peace tree planted. 
  • URI's South India Region published a WIHW booklet and held an interfaith convention on February 6. Attendees included members from various CCs and organizations in the region. They also hosted a religion quiz competition for students in Kerala on February 12.
  • URI Pakistan organized a "Music For Peace" concert in Lahore during the last week of February. The program will pay tribute to legendary Ghazal singer, Mehdi Hasan, known as King of Ghazal "shehansha-e-ghazal," and also feature guest singer Rahat Fateh Ali and live messages from Lata Ji, the greatest singer of India, and Daleep Kumar,the legendary film actor of India.
  • The URI Korea office in Seoul celebrated WIHW with an interfaith prayer ceremony for world peace and a dinner, with guests from the Philippines, India, South Africa, and Puerto Rico. URI Korea Coordinator, Jinwol Lee, also attended a luncheon with scholars, artists and religious leaders at Golgulsa temple in Gyeongju, South Korea to appreciate the spirit of WIHW through a discussion and a religious cultural show, which included meditative folk music and dance.
  • URI UN Representatives Monica Willard and Deborah Moldow, on behalf of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN, organized an Interfaith Breakfast with 100 participants celebrating the launch of World Interfaith Week at the United Nations. They engaged the partnership of the UN Dept. of Public Information, which sent out the notice to more than 1500 NGOs affiliated with the UN worldwide. Guest speakers included Under Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka; HRH Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al Hussein; Marc Scheuer, Director of the Alliance of Civilizations; Stephen Hanmer from UNICEF; and Dr. Azza Karam from UNFPA. Please visit www.rngo.org for photos and a full report.
  • Global Clergy Association of Vancouver BC CC organized a prayer and peace talk of spiritual leaders at Kabir Centre in Surrey on Feb. 6.
  • Pakistan Council for Social Welfare & Human Rights CC held two seminars, entitled “Religious Harmony is Need of Hour," for hundreds of believers of different faiths on Feb. 2nd and 3rd.
  • Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation CC hosted Palestinian peacemaker Itaf Awad at the Village Lutheran Church in Los Angeles, CA on January 30 as she shared the gift of the Way of Council, an ancient tradition used by peace groups in Israel, Palestine and Europe that unites the practice of true expression and personal experience through powerful and non-threatening communication.
Cooperation Circles Involved

MADA (Horizon) CC

"Our purpose is for women to bring their hearts together, to create peace locally within our community and our religions, to strengthen women religiously and to create cooperation among the religions in our local community."

Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance CC

"Our purpose: to promote the exercise of faith and practice of religion in Culver City, California and adjacent areas; to cultivate a friendly cooperative and synergistic relationship between the city's government and religious communities; to build partnerships among the religious congregations to develop affective ministries for Culver City residents; and to work together for the benefit of the total community without compromising doctrinal values or beliefs."