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World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Canada

Observances of World Interfaith Harmony Week in Montreal and Vancouver included prayers, readings and ceremonies of interfaith harmony.

 

Vancouver

Ambassadors for Peace and friends and supporters of UPF gathered in Vancouver on Feb. 2 in support of World Interfaith Harmony Week for a presentation on interfaith peacebuilding, prayers and readings.

The celebration was held under the World Interfaith Harmony Week theme of "Love of God and Love of One's Neighbor"/ "Love of the Good and Love of One's Neighbor."

The program began with a short study of the UN declaration that established World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010. This was followed by an inspiring presentation on UPF interfaith peacebuilding, prayers for world peace and a candle-lighting ceremony by representatives of different faiths plus the reading of inspirational words from world-renowned leaders.

One Ambassador for Peace requested that the same program be repeated at his own church the following evening.

 

Montreal

On February 16, 2015— a very cold evening—Ambassadors for Peace and newcomers participated in what has become an annual gathering in Montreal in support of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jain representatives and clergy, as well as those of several Christian denominations, gathered to share readings on peace by the founders of each tradition.

Members of the clergy took turns in reading from the sacred texts of a tradition that was not their own. For example, a Muslim imam read from a Christian text, a Hindu leader read from a Christian text while a Christian read from a Sikh text. Our resident Jain scholar shared some insights from his tradition of which we had not been aware.

Clergy members also participated in a “mixing of the water ceremony,” representing the unification of different faith traditions. The meeting concluded with a joint prayer for peace.

Although the meeting usually is limited to a couple of hours, the discussion continued after the formal close of the meeting until late in the evening as participants shared their insights on peace and current affairs.

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