Today marks the beginning of the first ever UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
This week holds unprecedented potentially help turn the tide against religious tensions. It can build understanding and provide unity and strength to counter those who see faith as a source for division and discrimination.
Obviously resolutions do not by themselves alter the world, but this resolution encourages people who believe in inter-religious harmony to stand up and be counted. If you are a person of good will there are many things you can do this week that cost very little and take little time. These may include organising a 'Harmony Breakfast' for neighbours of various faiths or merely inviting them over for a cup of tea or coffee or a chat; organising a multi-cultural bazaar; doing joint community work such as a cleanup of a local park; feeding the homeless; planting a community garden; reading together; praying together; merely talking to your own families about the need for more understanding and harmony; or even just going out of your way to greet or smile at someone who is of a different faith. Lots of meaningful events are already taking place, for example in response to the events that have recently occurred in the MENA regions, Muslims and Christians in Amman, Jordan will visit each others’ place of worship and pray together for peace.
This week students from our global education programme, Face to Faith, are engaging in discussions around key spiritual and faith based questions and our Faiths Act supporters are continuing to organise multi-faith events.
So in the first week of February remember God and the neighbour, or the Good and the neighbour. And remember World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation