Word Interfaith Harmony Week 2018
The United Nations (UN) Resolution of October 20, 2010 recognized “the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.” This inspired the Silsilah Dialogue Movement to celebrate the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) every first week of February. The groundbreaking celebration of the WIHW in Zamboanga City commenced
in February 2012 and was participated in by different partners and groups.
The response was enthusiastic. With the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) as the lead group and the Silsilah Dialogue Movement as the Secretariat, several organizations became involved in planning and executing the activities for the celebration set for February 01 to 07, 2012.
The success of the 2012 celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) in Zamboanga City was overwhelming and motivating for the groups involved to continue to work together in carrying out future celebrations. The groups in Zamboanga City decided to form a loose association among themselves which they named United Nations Interfaith-Harmony Partners-Zamboanga (UNI-HP-Z).
Moreover, Zamboanga City’s 1st District Congressional Representative Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco–Salazar (now the Mayor of Zamboanga City) sponsored a bill in the House enjoining the celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week in the Philippines as encouraged by the UN Resolution. Senator Loren Legarda sponsored a similar version for the Senate. Both bills passed the respective houses and became a law of the land upon signing by President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Republic Act No. 10525:
“An Act declaring the First Week of February of every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) in the entire country and mandating its observance by the different Government Agencies.”
The experience of working together for the 2012 celebration brought the same groups in Zamboanga City to carry out the celebration every year up to now.
“Celebrating the transforming power of the Love of God and love of neighbor for the Common Good”
was chosen as the theme for the 2018 celebration of the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) as decided by the United Nation Interfaith Harmony Partners Zamboanga (UNI-HP-Z).