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The aim of World Religion Day, held annually on the third Sunday in January, is to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.
This year, World Religion Day falls on Jan. 17.
Prince Edward Island’s 2020 observance of World Religion Day, held at the Charlottetown Bahá’í Centre, brought together a capacity crowd from the aboriginal, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Bahá’í communities to share their faiths’ insights on the theme, Unity in Diversity, for Building a Harmonious Multicultural Society.
The 2021 gathering won’t take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers still want to raise awareness on the theme, We are one.
“World Religion Day is not about conversion; it is about conversation,” said co-organizer Farah Rezaei, a member of the Bahá’í Faith. “It’s about connecting with others to broaden our horizons by learning more about the religions that shape our world and our province. It honours the religious as well as the cultural diversity of P.E.I. and helps to develop a deeper understanding among us all. Think of the religions of the world as different flowers in a garden.”
Rev. Madonna Fradsham, a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Charlottetown, shared this sentiment.
“We want to promote the beauty of religious diversity. God speaks in the language of love, so why would we think that God spoke only to one group at one time in history?”
Organizers hope that representatives of faith groups on P.E.I. will collaborate to publish a series of articles that raise awareness about the beliefs that the various religions hold in common.
“We are looking to create greater understanding for when we gather for World Religion Day in January 2022,” said Fradsham.
They are urging Islanders to take the time and effort to study the faiths of the world and speak to others with an open heart and mind.
“Share what your religion has to say, and then take the time to listen to them talk about theirs from a place of understanding and love,” she said. “Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home.”