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Interfaith Harmony Week Ceremony in Toronto

Mavety, Canada - The need and the desire in the international community to live harmoniously are so intense that many join hands to commemorate Interfaith Harmony Week among people of different religious and cultural identities. UPF (Central District) Canada is such a remarkable group of people composed of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and many other devout people who gathered on this day to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week at UPF headquarters in Mavety, near Toronto, Ontario.

The program of the day included a presentation by Rev. Mitch Dixon reviewing the UN General Assembly Resolution in 2010 establishing the first week of February as World Interfaith Harmony Week. In addition, there was a solemn ceremony promoting interfaith harmony, a presentation by Rev. Earl Smith on human rights, greetings from participants, a musical presentation by Heaven’s call, and a potluck brunch.

Rev. Dixon began by saying that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions, and beliefs call for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding. He reaffirmed that this day inculcates mutual understanding because interreligious dialogue constitutes an important dimension of a culture of peace. By which we proclaim the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs to encourage all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world's churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship during that week. This should be based on love of God and love of one’s neighbour or on love of the good and love of one’s neighbour, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions.

On November 23 2010 the United Nation on its sixty-fifth session with agenda item 15 adopted a resolution 65/5 World Interfaith Harmony Week, which recognized the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people. Recalling with appreciation various global, regional and sub regional initiatives on mutual understanding and interfaith harmony, including the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, and the initiative “A Common Word”, Recognizing that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions and beliefs call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. Concurrently various representatives from different faith groups poured the water of harmony in a bowl to symbolize the oneness of water which is pure in value encouraging humans to be one family under God.

Rev. Dixon narrated the quotations from the leaders of faith and cultures living and from the past to make known the valuable assets we possess from our ancestors and prudent of our present times. The list of such nobles included Abraham Lincoln, Marianne Williamson, Chief Oren Lyons, Dalai Lama, King Hussein of Jordan, Pope John Paul II, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Hafiz, Aung San Suu Kyi, Maria Montessori, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leo Tolstoy, Harriet Tubman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Rev. Earl Smith briefed the audience about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights are the road to a peaceful and secure world. The loss of 50 million lives in World War II, and the lessons learned from such a vast tragedy, paved the way to adopting a charter in 1948 which was intended to prevent such a disaster from repeating. Today while commemorating World Interfaith Harmony Week, we cannot forget but implement all tenets of Universal Declaration Human Rights, especially “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Rev. Smith played a CD and distributed a booklet from the International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance, highlighting “Know Your Human Rights.” The story of Human Rights published by www.humanrights.com was also distributed. Before closing, he made a strong point that central to Scientology beliefs is a conviction that all humankind is entitled to inalienable rights. So it is that for more than 50 years Scientologists have championed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today the Church of Scientology sponsors the largest non-governmental information campaign to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights known the world over.

Dr. Hoossen Auckberaullee expressed his gratitude to all participants including the presenters of the musical show and song by "Heaven's Call." Rev. Stoyan Tadin spoke briefly to express thanks to Almighty God for making the event successful and pledged that UPF (Central District) would continue to participate in World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Later, the congregation joined to share a diverse array appetizing food, which in itself was a living testimony how people of diverse cultures and religions can share and value each other with the warmth of food and their hearts.

 

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