Peace Building and Interfaith Harmony
Pakistan is suffering with war and terror from last three decades. Extremism is growing very rapidly in the society. With the current situation of the country, at the national level, with all the riots taking place, especially, the suicide bombings, it had become necessary to work on peace and interfaith activities, especially with communities of different faiths and religions. It’s very hard to tame the shrewd & barbarian cultural peoples to build the peace. We take it as a challenge, burning issue to build Peace in the country. Although we faced some incidents by religious extremist mind set in our peace mission, EACH staff got attacked by extremists in 2012 and we got to shut down our activities for some time in Faisalbad, Pakistan. Now again in the beginning of 2016 another staff member got in trouble by religious extremists in Okara, Pakistan, but we are moving forward working on peace at grass root level.
Every one of us feels that our society needs peace and that every country’s progress and development depend on its peace. PAKISTAN is also a country where unfortunately we don’t have proper peace.
Pakistan is home to multifaceted and heterogeneous faiths, and largely constituted of a Muslim majority. While the minorities consist of Ahmedis, Hindus, Christian, and other minorities including the Parsi, Buddhist and Sikh communities. Within the Muslim majority, a large proportion of the population is of the Sunni faith, while the rest are Shia. Both faiths house a number of different sectarian ideologies due to which there are intrinsic rifts in theological perspective and practice.
The solidarity and development of a country depends on the Peacefulness in the country and peace in the country depends on the interfaith harmony amongst the different communities in the country. How can Peace and Interfaith Harmony prevail in the country? Let us first see what the United Nations General Assembly doing for Peace and Interfaith harmony around the world.
Realizing the importance of, the UNGA passed resolutions for prevailing Peace and Harmony in the world. The following article taken from the World Interfaith Harmony week reflects how important it is to have peace and Interfaith Harmony around us.
World Interfaith Harmony Week Resolution UNGA A/65/PV.34
The General Assembly, Recalling its resolutions 53/243 of 13 September 1999 on the declaration and programme of action relating to a culture of peace, 57/6 of 4 November 2002 concerning the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, 58/128 of 19 December 2003 on the promotion of religious and cultural understanding, harmony and cooperation, 60/4 of 20 October 2005 on a global agenda for dialogue among civilizations, 64/14 of 10 November 2009 on the Alliance of Civilizations, 64/81 of 7 December 2009 on the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace and 64/164 of 18 December 2009 on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief,
Recognizing the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people,
Recalling with appreciation various global, regional and subregional initiatives on mutual understanding and interfaith harmony including the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, and the initiative “A Common Word”,
Recognizing that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions and beliefs call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding,
- Reaffirms that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace;
- Proclaims the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs;
- Encourages all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship during that week, 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;
- Requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly informed of the implementation of the present resolution.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
It is hoped that this initiative will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities.
EACH Pakistan is also striving to have peace in the country, and will do all it can for the prosperity and peace in the country. Long live Pakistan