“OLYMPICS ON INTERFAITH HARMONY” in the Philippines | August 1, 2012

One of the major international event – the “Olympic Games” started in Olympia, Greece. The Olympics  is considered to be foremost sports competition in the world and more than 200 nations participates and this event has acquired a worldwide interest that unites people from different parts of the world.  One of the major international event – the “Olympic Games” started in Olympia, Greece. The Olympics  is considered to be foremost sports competition in the world and more than 200 nations participates and this event has acquired a worldwide interest that unites people from different parts of the world.
Meanwhile, most of our attention goes to this significant event in London, Silsilah is grateful to inform that in line with this world event of the Olympics, there is an interfaith world effort as declared and promoted by the United Nations (UN) that every first week of February- the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) which has a global impact and it has reached many parts of the world since it was adopted in 2010.
In the Philippines, this event was celebrated in Zamboanga City and for the first time it was spearheaded by the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) in collaborations with Silsilah Dialogue Movement and many other groups and institutions last February 1-7, 2012. It has gained support and active participation from the academe, grassroots communities, business and private institutions, religious sectors and the youth.
Silsilah have encouraged and inspired other organizations in the Philippines to organize an interfaith partnership group in Mindanao and Metro Manila and is in the frontline in challenging these groups to promote the WIHW. Silsilah is convinced that this special week is very close to its vision-mission of dialogue and peace as promoted in a spiritual approach.

On July 28, 2012 led by Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME, an interfaith partnership meeting was organized to discuss and share relevant activities in preparation for the upcoming WIHW 2013 at the University of Santo Thomas, Manila.  Attended by partners organizations and key persons from the international organization Religions for Peace-Philippines; Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (ECID-CBCP); Focolare Movement; Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan- Center for Active Non-Violence (AKKAPKA-CANV); Center for Peace Education of Miriam College; Peacemaker’s Circle Foundation ; the Diocese of Manila  and Ministry for Interreligious Dialogue (MIRD) of Quiapo Church. Together they decided to work collaboratively and to take part in supporting the House Bill 6148 authored by Reps. Maria Isabelle Climaco (1st District, Zamboanga City) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan) and pushing it to the Senate. This effort will have a greater impact on the media, to the Embassies in Manila and even among the youth by involving them on this event.  On July 28, 2012 led by Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME, an interfaith partnership meeting was organized to discuss and share relevant activities in preparation for the upcoming WIHW 2013 at the University of Santo Thomas, Manila.  Attended by partners organizations and key persons from the international organization Religions for Peace-Philippines; Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (ECID-CBCP); Focolare Movement; Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan- Center for Active Non-Violence (AKKAPKA-CANV); Center for Peace Education of Miriam College; Peacemaker’s Circle Foundation ; the Diocese of Manila  and Ministry for Interreligious Dialogue (MIRD) of Quiapo Church. Together they decided to work collaboratively and to take part in supporting the House Bill 6148 authored by Reps. Maria Isabelle Climaco (1st District, Zamboanga City) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan) and pushing it to the Senate. This effort will have a greater impact on the media, to the Embassies in Manila and even among the youth by involving them on this event.

Activities lined-up for the February 2013 is still on the process of finalization and it was planned out to culminate at the historical place in Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila and will be graced by representatives from different religious affiliations and organizations. Guided by this spirit, Silsilah do encourage many groups in the Philippines to celebrate and observe this special week of harmony among different religions and culture in their respective places. Particularly, Silsilah is interested and is willing to give any possible suggestions and support to other organizations not only in Zamboanga peninsula and Manila. As a concrete sign of this effort we have started to build a website (www.harmonylink.info) that will be readily available on the internet soon.  In the Olympics the ultimate goal was to be the best and to win. In this “Olympics on Interfaith Harmony” we are all invited to win together. May this new Olympics on interfaith for harmony and peace be a new sign of hope and lessen the pain and conflict in areas like Syria and in other parts of the world and so  with the many events of violence  particularly in Basilan and around us.

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