CALENDAR OF EVENTS
UPF-Argentina Peace Council Statement for World Interfaith Harmony Week
Written by Miguel Werner, secretary general, UPF-Argentina
Thursday, February 4, 2016
“World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs” was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 65/5, adopted on October 20, 2010. The event is celebrated every year during the first week of February. Recognizing “the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people,” the UN encourages all States to support the spread of the message of interfaith harmony “based on love of God and love of one’s neighbor or on love of the good and love of one’s neighbor, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions.” UPF-Argentina supports World Interfaith Harmony Week, and honoring and reinforcing our commitment to life, fraternity and peace:
- We reaffirm our belief in a Creator, with the name each spiritual tradition has assigned him. It is not an abstract entity created by the human mind, but a living manifestation throughout the history of humankind, lifting the conscience of His children for the common good, fraternity and peace. His love and truth were expressed millennia and centuries ago through prophets and saints, and men and women of goodwill, with open minds and hearts.
- We reaffirm the principle of “living for the sake of others,” written in the “great book of Nature,” adopted by all religions, inspiring one to love the Creator and serve others. It values the sacredness of life and respects each person’s dignity, which begins in marriage and grows into a harmonious family. It is the Magna Carta to extend solid community bonds and help the weak and the poor, and children and grandparents, who are often neglected because of individualism and a “discard culture.”
- We reaffirm the universal values of religions, which raise the culture and the spirits of peoples, and their important contribution to education; conflict resolution and containing social problems. In this regard, we call for cooperation between different spiritual traditions and governments to find more integral solutions to local and global problems. For this reason, on August 18, 2000, UPF proposed the creation of an Interfaith Council at the UN.
- We reaffirm the freedom of conscience and worship, in search for a connection with the Creator, source of life and love, and of universal principles and values, which should be protected by laws and authorities, since they are the basis of other rights and freedoms. For this reason, prejudices and fanaticisms are not accepted, as well as “crusades” organized by powerful entities and stigmatization and humiliation from the media, to anyone who practices a belief or serves the common good.
- Many problems and social and regional conflicts, from marginality to inequality, violence to terrorism, drugs to drug trafficking, corruption, and the destruction of the environment mainly arise from ignorance of our fraternal commitment, our spiritual essence and our transcendent sense. Reaffirming once more our universal values and principles–beyond religious tradition, ethnicity, culture, and nationality—let us renew our conviction and hope that world and local peace is possible, honoring the legacy of love, sacrifice and forgiveness, given to us through the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors.
Buenos Aires, February 4, 2016
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