The World Interfaith Harmony Week was launched by the United Nations in 2011 as a decentralised initiative, taking place all over the world every year in the first week of February. It is a week of interfaith dialogue and interaction, including events such as “harmony breakfasts”, movie screenings followed by discussions or joint community work/projects that aim to tackle a common issue co-operatively (e.g. environmental issues, homelessness, illness). The week especially provides a platform for interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to demonstrate and share their work. Based on The Common Word initiative that aimed to foster dialogue between specifically the Muslim and the Christian faith, The World Interfaith Harmony Week similarly aims to foster dialogue, but between all kinds of faith groups, including those groups with no faith. Whereas The Common Word initiative is based on “Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour”, The World Interfaith Harmony Week is based on “Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbour”.
A few intercultural cities are taking part in the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Some examples of this year’s events include:
- Lisbon’s Interfaith Harmony Day “Ajuda in Dialogue”, taking place at a garden in the Palace of Ajuda. It included lectures and debates as well as cultural/artistic activities.
- Barcelona’s 5th edition of its “Concert of Three Cultures”, characterized by music from Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This year’s concert included the Interreligious Choir for Peace, created in 2007 by the UNESCO Association for Interreligious Dialogue (AUDIR).
- Copenhagen’s film viewing of “På tværs van troen - Bridging Beliefs” by the film maker Morten Bo with a panel debate held afterwards.
- Paris’ debate around the film "André Chouraqui: The Writing of Scriptures”. André Chouraqui translated the Bible and the Quran into French. His interreligious perspective opened up an interesting debate between his son Emmanuel Chouraqui and various other activists.