Last October, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously passed Resolution A/65/PV.34 to establish World Interfaith Harmony Week. The Resolution identifies the first week of February as a time to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.” This statement evolved from influential regional and international efforts at promoting interreligious cooperation through initiatives such as the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation and Peace and the “Common Word Between Us and You” statement addressed to Christians emphasizing love in Islam and Christianity and signed by over 130 Muslim leaders.

To promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions, last October, the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution A/65/PV.34 declaring the first week of February: “World Interfaith Harmony Week”.

The three goals of the “World Interfaith Harmony Week” are to coordinate efforts of positive work; to use places of worship to foster peace; and to encourage religious clergy to declare support for peace. Observances are meant to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.”.

As many as 44 separate events are scheduled around the world, according to the World Interfaith Harmony website. In New York: 7th Annual Interreligious Prayer Service for Peace and Justice Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week on Saturday, February 5th, 2011 (7pm) at Church of St. Francis Xavier, (46 West 16th St. bet. 5th and 6th Ave), Manhattan NY email:

posted by Rhonda Maguire