By Staff Reporter
Since February 2011, World Interfaith Harmony Week has encouraged all UN member states to support the spread of harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
Ireland’s capital has marked the week via the efforts of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum (DCIF), through which various faith communities work together with the city on strategies to educate people about their practices, such as ‘Faith in the City’ programme.
Such projects provide the DCIF “an opportunity to pursue its continued efforts to enable people to learn more about cultures and traditions other than their own, in the belief that such knowledge and understanding will reduce ignorance, suspicion or fear of those who are different from themselves,” says the forum’s executive officer Adrian Cristea.
“This is a new and innovative way to communicate values that are important for improving the well-being of our citizens. In a changing world, it is more and more obvious that we have to educate ourselves and the younger generations to preserve knowledge and diversity.”
This year’s World Interfaith Harmony Week kicks off on Monday 1 February with a ‘Faith in the City’ session at the Indian Orthodox Church based in St George & St Thomas Church on Cathal Brugha Street from 6.30pm.
“This is a great opportunity for local community, statutory and voluntary groups, schools, etc, to experience a place of worship first hand, and learn about its spiritual, cultural significance and meaning,” says Cristea.
The week will also see a keynote conference and exhibition on Margaret E Noble’s life and work in India.
Renowned poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore referred to Noble as ‘the mother of India’ in recognition of her vital contributions to the national and educational life in the country.
This event will also highlight the Indian community in Ireland as a positive example of integration and outline diverse expressions of faith and culture in India.
Further details on these events and more can be found online at tinyurl.com/jglheak