In urging all nations to observe International Day of Human Fraternity February 4, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the need “to promote cultural and religious tolerance, understanding and dialogue.”
The UN Day is celebrated as part of World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1 – 7, launched in 2010 to further harmony among people everywhere regardless of their faith, culture, ethnicity, region or continent.
In observance of the week, the UN calls for “all States to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship … on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.” And on the landing page for the day, the UN expresses “deep concern regarding acts that advocate religious hatred, and thereby undermine the spirit of tolerance and respect for diversity, especially at a time when the world confronts the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.” It stresses the need for “a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation.”
In adopting World Interfaith Harmony Week in November 2010, the UN resolution stresses that “the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions and beliefs call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding.”
The resolution also pays tribute to a range of global and regional efforts to foster mutual understanding and interfaith harmony, including an initiative known as “A Common Word” launched in 2007. A Common Word calls for Christian and Muslim leaders to engage in dialogue based on two principles common to their faiths—love of God and love of one’s neighbors. As expressed on the initiative’s website: “Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.”
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.