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Report of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2023 in Zambia


Lusaka, Zambia—The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in conjunction with the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 7, 2023 under the theme: “Harmony in a World in Crisis.” The main event took place at Peace Embassy in Lusaka where the conveners, UPF and IAPD, welcomed the religious leaders from five religions: Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Baháʼí and Christianity, and other participants including Ambassadors for Peace, IAPD members, academicians, students, youths and people from all walks of life.


A bright, soothing sunshine whispered into the early morning of February 7, 2023, suggesting that the day was coming with a promise of abundance. The previous days had much rain, making many people stay indoors. The streets of Lusaka, which are usually characterized by many people selling and buying, were abandoned, bringing business to a standstill.


However, February 7th seemed to bring people out for their usual business. It’s on this same day that UPF Zambia Chapter and IAPD Zambia Chapter brought together religious leaders and their faithful ones.


After opening prayers from the Christian community and the national anthem, the emcee, Mr. Ackson Mwale, then asked IAPD secretary general Grand Mufti Assadullah Mwale to give a brief statement about World Interfaith Harmony Week.


This was followed by the reading of UPF founder’s address by UPF secretary general Rev. Rudolf Faerber.


The guest of honor, Dr. Martha Sitali, director of National Guidance and Religious Affairs desk at the office of the Vice President, said that the government has within its system an interfaith agenda and is working to implement its objectives. He said interfaith efforts can work to reduce tension in the society and bring love, oneness and social care. He said interfaith is the key to bring solutions to many past hurts that have occurred. She commended UPF and IAPD for bringing together all the religious leaders and their faithful ones as unique and historical.


There was a standing ovation when the five religious leaders were each given a glass of water and offered respectively prayers in their religions. They prayed over their water. They then all at once poured the water into a bowl in unity of faith.


After the Unity of Faith Ceremony, the emcee invited the religious leaders present at the event to read common scriptures from their different holy books.


The emcee then asked them to briefly give their religious and spiritual insights in relation to the World Interfaith Harmony Week theme of 2023: “Harmony in a World in Crisis.”


The five religious leaders took turns to explain the need for brotherhood and neighborhood among different religious faiths according to their holy scriptures.


IAPD president, Bishop Dr. David Musonda Masupa, concluded the event by asking religious leaders to unite together. He said most of the crises that the society or nation or world face are more spiritual than physical. He said when religions unite, they will make God to move and assist in many of the crises we are facing. He said a neighbor is not only those we share the same faith with but those with diverse spiritual undertaking.


The event ended with prayer and a group photo.

The event was covered by several public media institutions.


By Fabrice Djimadoum
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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