KPU's 7th-Annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week
February 4, 2021
According to the 2012 Pew Research Study, religious hostility has reached a six-year high. Over 60 countries worldwide have seen the level of social hostility rise to “high” or “very high” levels.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) wants to be part of the solution. On February 4, 2021, in accordance with the United Nations World Interfaith and Harmony Week, KPU’s Multi-Faith Centre hosted its 7th-Annual World Interfaith Harmony Week celebration virtually! KPU chaplains participated in a virtual dialogue and Q+A session on February 4th from 12pm-1pm on Microsoft Teams. This interactive session focused on the social issues that our society is currently experiencing (COVID-19, systemic racism, Riots at the capitol), how they speak to deeper issues, and how different interfaith perspectives can come together, find common ground, and share views in a respectful manner. Our panel of interfaith chaplains included Christian, Sikh and Sufi perspectives. To watch the full session, click on the video below!
The United Nation’s World Interfaith and Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly in 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. One month later, it was unanimously adopted by the UN. Moving forward, the first week of February is observed as World Interfaith Harmony Week. World Interfaith Harmony Week provides a platform where interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can demonstrate what a powerful movement they are. Thousands of events are organized across the world by groups of varying faiths and secular beliefs.
On February 5, 2020, the KPU Multi-Faith Centre participated in their 6th Annual celebration for UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. Multi-Faith chaplains, the Kwantlen Christian Fellowship and the Muslim Student Association hosted a drop-in event at KPU Surrey. The purpose of the event was to spread awareness about Interfaith Harmony Week and showcase displays that highlight what acceptance and harmony means from their respective denominations. Chaplains and volunteers at KPU Richmond also tabled on campus to spread awareness about Interfaith Harmony Week.
My experience with the UN Interfaith Harmony Week has been inspiring and splendid. I wish I knew about the Interfaith Harmony Week a couple of years ago so I could have taken part in many events in the community. I was very satisfied with the outcome because I met many individuals with different worldviews than my own. I find that interfaith events give individuals an opportunity to learn and expose themselves to worldviews that are different than their own. This is a great opportunity to ask questions, socialize, build friendships, and network with individuals regardless of gender, age ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. I look forward to attending various interfaith events in the future during Interfaith Harmony Week in the years to come!
- Parabjot K. Singh