Sufi meditation in Lodz, Poland, dialogue workshops in Jerusalem, and a conference in Abuja, Nigeria, to create a national inter-religious policy–these are just three of the hundreds of interfaith events that will take place over the next seven days across six continents as part of the second annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. The UN now recognizes every first week of February as World Interfaith Harmony Week, an initiative introduced by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the UN General Assembly in September 2010 and unanimously adopted by that body in under a month. Both King Abdullah II and his wife, Queen Rania, have been among the most outspoken leaders on interfaith dialogue and peace; their hometown of Amman, Jordan, will host a number of interfaith events in the coming days.
September 27 October 19, Here on Earth Host Jean Feraca will speak with Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), to discuss the latest IFYC success in promoting dialogue and strengthening communities through service.
Building on his previous experience with interfaith service projects in South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka, Eboo Patel started Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) in 2002 from the humble settings of a Chicago basement. In just under a decade, Patel’s vision to build religious pluralism has created interfaith dialogue and service projects on all six continents and IFYC has hosted delegations and trainings from 16 countries.
Conferences, trainings, and dialogue are important to IFYC, but the primary purpose of Patel and the other 30 full-time IFYC staff is to build leadership within all faith communities. Patel notes that while 99% the world “inclines towards tolerance and cooperation,” a large portion of the remaining 1% are strong leaders and successful in their pursuit to discriminate and divide. Patel believes that if a larger portion of that 99% become leaders in their own communities, a better, stronger world will emerge.