The Golden Rule Day celebrated and Goodwill Ambassadors of the Golden Rule of 2011 announced

21 April 2011

The Golden Rule Day was celebrated very colorfully in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 5. On the occasion of the celebration of the day, a message was sent from His Holiness Abune Paulos Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who is also President of World Council of Churches and Honorary President of Religions for Peace. Messages were also sent from the Representative of Ethiopian Islamic Supreme Council, the Ethiopian Catholic Church, the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the National Spiritual Assembly of The Baha`is of Ethiopia and Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Regional Director of United Religions Initiative for Africa and Board Chairman of Interfaith Peace-building Initiative. 

In their messages they sent, they emphasized that the basic teaching of all religions is peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, love, and living for the sake of others and treating others the way you want to be treated. Therefore, religion can no longer be an accomplice to war, to terrorism, or to any other forms of violence, organized or spontaneous, against any member of the human family. Nobody should be killed in the name of God or religion. 

In a world where we hear religious differences have often turned into divisiveness, self-righteousness, and fanaticism, contributing to conflict, atrocities, and war, it was quite inspiring event to hear the positive message of the Golden Rule from different religious leaders in Ethiopia to the world. 

His Excellency Mr. Girma Woldegiogis, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in the message which he sent for the Golden Rule Day, said “I extend my acknowledgment and appreciation for Interfaith Peace-building Initiative and United Religions Initiative for the outstanding work they are doing in promoting a culture of peace and interfaith harmony in the world. I am very thrilled to see the progress of the Golden Rule Day, which was started in 2007 in Ethiopia by Interfaith Peace-building Initiative, and has now become an international event. On this day I send you my best wishes, blessing and personal support for this noble cause as the Golden Rule is a pathway and practical action which leads us to peace, co-existence, respecting and honoring each other.” 

In his message for the Golden Rule Day, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission said, “On the occasion of the Golden Rule Day, I am delighted to convey to you a congratulatory message on behalf of the African Union Commission and commend the work of Interfaith Peace-building Initiative for the values you continue to deploy in Africa in promoting peace and security.” Addressing the need of Golden Rule in Africa, the Deputy Chairperson said “The celebration of the Golden Rule Day helps us to be introspective, to live in harmony, to build alliances and trust, to nurture and to respect our diversity so as to resist the forces that divide us. As humanity and as Africans we have much more in common in our heritage, in our aspirations and in our destiny and we should therefore do all in our power to celebrate our diversity rather than use it a tool for division.” 

Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, sent a message for the Golden Rule Day celebration in Ethiopia, in which he said, “Despite our real religious and theological differences, our moral sensibilities converge around the Golden Rule. Today in practical terms, my security depends upon your security. Today, no walls can be built high enough to protect ourselves from the needs of others. Principled cooperation is necessary to unleash the powers to build the peace which our hearts hunger for, and this cooperation-we all know-must be based on the Golden Rule. As you advance the Golden Rule, please know that the religious communities in Religions for Peace in over 100 countries are united with you.” 
Highlighting the necessity of the Golden Rule in creating a peaceful and better world for all, Ambassador Mussie said, “We need the teaching of the Golden Rule in our world more than ever as it is a fundamental principle that addresses critical issues such as democracy, human rights, respect for one another, gender equity, social development, interfaith harmony, constructive dialogue among nations, conflict prevention and building right human relationships.” Ambassador Mussie also appealed to the 53 member states of the African Union to support the initiative of the United Nations Decade for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace and to put the Golden Rule into united practice all over the world. 

Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (URI member organization in Ethiopia) proclaimed April 5th as a Golden Rule Day in 2007. IPI called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, mayors, heads of state of the world, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organizations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community and civil society to join IPI in proclaiming this day as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for this and the coming generation. In response to this call, organizations in 90 countries joined IPI in proclaiming the Golden Rule Day and currently IPI is working in getting the United Nations to officially proclaim the Golden Rule Day. 

Since 2007, every year IPI has honored individuals and organizations as Goodwill Ambassadors of the Golden Rule for those who have done an exemplary act according to the teaching of the Golden Rule. The honorees are presented with the Golden Rule Medal, a framed Golden Rule poster and a trophy. 

This year’s recipients were:

1) THE SCOUT MOVEMENT in recognition of the contribution of the organization for the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potential and for outstanding service in promoting world cooperation, friendship, a culture of peace and harmony in the world without discrimination on the basis of gender, origin, race or creed. 

2) MR.PAUL MCKENNA & SCARBORO MISSIONS in acknowledgment of outstanding service in promoting the teaching of the Golden Rule and for designing the Golden Rule Poster which is serving throughout the world to promote the teaching of the Golden Rule and interfaith harmony. 

3) WILHELM SCHOLE INTERNATIONAL in appreciation of promoting the teaching of the Golden Rule since 1974 and for working with children to spread awareness of the idea of world citizenship and for advancing intercultural understanding. 

URI and IPI strongly believe that the Golden Rule will help to build world interfaith harmony, an alliance of civilizations and more trust, understanding, and respect among followers of different religions and cultures and will create the opportunity for them to come together to resist the forces of division that spread misunderstanding and mistrust among peoples of different religions and cultures. 
IPI is a peace organization based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which works to promote the teaching of the Golden Rule, a culture of peace, interfaith harmony, and constructive dialogue among different religions and cultures. IPI is a United Religions Initiative member organization in Ethiopia and affiliated with the United Nations through the United Nations Public Information Department. URI is an international interfaith organization with Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It`s purpose is to promote enduring daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. May Peace and the Golden Rule Prevail on Earth.