2018 World Interfaith Harmony Week to be Held at the African Union

30 January 2018
URI Director of Global Partnerships, URI Representative at the UN and the African Union, URI-Africa Regional Director, Former Ambassador

Greetings of peace and blessing from URI-Africa.

This is to inform you that URI-Africa, U-Day Festival, Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia (a URI Cooperation Circle) and African Ombudsman and Mediators Association, in partnership with the African Union Civil Society and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO), are organizing the Celebration of the 2018 World Interfaith Harmony Week under the theme “Interfaith Cooperation to Promote a Culture of Peace, Harmony and Human Dignity.” It will be held at the African Union Commission Conference Centre on February 2nd, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The guest of honor of the event is H.E. Dr. Mualtu Teshome, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

As part of the celebration of the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Ethiopia, there will be also a spiritual pilgrimage to the north part of Ethiopia; Lalibela. In deep acknowledgement of Ethiopia as the Land of Origins, The Unity Earth team will gather at the sacred and historic sites at Lalibela and will ignite the three torches coming from different parts of the world: the Torch of Peace, which previously went around the word in the First Earth Run in partnership with UNICEF in 1986, will be carried by international signer Kristin Hoffmann of the United States; the Torch of Compassion, an initiative of the International Compassion Games, will be brought by Chief Phil Lane, Jr. of Canada; and Ven Phramaha Boonchuay Doojal will carry a Torch of Unity from Thailand.

The cultural and music festival will take place at different locations. The purpose of the cultural event is to promote a culture of peace, harmony and human dignity through music and art.

There will be around 350 participants (URI Cooperation Circle members, religious, spiritual and traditional leaders, policymakers, diplomatic communities, government officials, African Union officials, UN agencies, youth and women’s associations, artists, scholars and students. About 70 international participants will come from different parts of the world for the event.

The event is the first of its kind in Africa to be organized on this scale to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week. The guest of honor of the event will be H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The message of Secretary General of UN, Chairperson of African Union and Executive Director of URI will be read on the event. Monica Willard, Representative of URI at the UN, is among many international participants who are going to make remarks at the event.

On the occasion of the celebration, the African Interfaith Harmony Award of URI-Africa will be presented. World Peace Prayer Society will organize the Universal Peace Prayer Ceremony of “May Peace Prevail on Earth with a raising of the world’s flags. The peace pole will be also dedicated to the African Union and to the Government and people of Ethiopia from World Peace Prayer Society and Goi Peace Foundation.

During the event, the teaching of the Golden Rule will be recited and highlighted, as the Golden Rule is the pathway for World Interfaith Harmony, peaceful coexistence and respecting human dignity.

May Peace, Compassion, Justice and Human Dignity Prevail on Earth!

In peace and gratitude,

Mussie Hailu

See more URI World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018 celebrations here.