A Week of Harmony and Tolerance: World Interfaith Harmony Week at KAICIID

30 January 2017

The World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) is celebrated annually in the first week of February to promote solidarity and build bridges between different religions.

The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) is actively engaged in spreading World Interfaith Harmony Week's (WIHW) message of tolerance and harmony throughout the year. Since 2015, KAICIID has also been actively participating in WIHW celebrations during the first week of February. In 2016, former Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer spoke at KAICIID on the importance of interreligious dialogue and its role in solving current problems, including the refugee crisis.

This year, the International Dialogue Centre will host a WIHW evening buffet and networking event with participation from KAICIID’s Board of Directors, Advisory Forum and Austrian religious and lay leaders. Interreligious dialogue advocates, through impulse statements, will offer examples of interreligious dialogue in action to build trust, inspire action and promote social cohesion in diverse communities.


World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW)

In October 2010, the United Nations recognized the imperative need for interreligious dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and tolerance among people of different nations. Henceforth, the first week of February has been celebrated annually as the World Interfaith Harmony Week among all religions and faiths.

WIHW was first proposed by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan and was, a month later, unanimously adopted in a resolution by the UN General Assembly. The idea originated from the 2007 ‘Common Word Initiative’ aimed at interreligious dialogue, by calling for common ground and understanding between Christian and Muslim leaders to promote peace. As a result of the initiative, WIHW provides an opportunity for people of all faiths to engage in interreligious activities and to promote harmony and tolerance.