About the event
World Interfaith Harmony Week came about as a result of a UN resolution for a worldwide week of interfaith harmony proposed in 2010 by HM King Abdullah II and HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan.
The day was originally intended as a project to promote understanding between Christian and Muslim’s. It sought to promote the shared commandments ‘Love of God and Love of the Neighbour’ that both religions share. Since then, the week has been expanded to promote understanding between all religions and those with no faith, and follows the new principles of ‘Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbour’.
How to approach it
This is a day to introduce the important values of tolerance and understanding. It's about respecting those who believe different things to ourselves, finding common ground and working together to create a mutually beneficial environment.
Introduce this idea of tolerance to your class - see if anyone can suggest what it might mean. Explain that tolerance is about coexisting with those who are different to ourselves. It’s about understanding that people have different beliefs and points of view and that if we are to live in harmonious communities, sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. Ask: why are tolerant communities and societies nice places to live? Why should we seek to understand those with different religious or non-religious beliefs?
Additionally, this is a useful moment to remind students of how many values many of the major world religions and those with no faith share. For example peace, strong communities and personal integrity are values that are important to many of us. Discuss with your class what other shared values we might share. Ask: what things can all faiths work towards together? What can we all agree on?
The world is a better place when different cultures and religions live in harmony with one another. Throughout your life you'll meet people with different beliefs. What's the best way to have a good conversation with people you disagree with?