World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in 16 Nations

UN World Interfaith Harmony Week was observed in 16 nations. In nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, Nepal, Slovakia, and Thailand programs opened with faith leaders offering prayers or participating in ceremonies such as lighting candles or pouring water into a common bowl. Forums in Austria (at the UN International Center), New Zealand, Slovakia. and Thailand featured speakers from several traditions, and programs in Canada and Germany offered insights about a particular religious tradition or spiritual practice common to several faiths.

Reports of youth service projects that brought together young people of different religions and cultures were the focus of programs in Argentina and Russia. Essay contests and debate competitions challenged students in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. In Moldova, a volleyball tournament brought together youths from different religions.

Some World Interfaith Harmony Week events were catalysts for future projects. At the Sao Paulo City Hall in Brazil, participants explored the possibility of establishing a municipal interfaith council to advise the city councilors; in Kiev, Ambassadors for Peace made plans for spreading ideas of interfaith respect and understanding throughout Ukraine.

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