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Winners of World Interfaith Harmony Week award honoured

By JT - Apr 17,2016 - Last updated at Apr 17,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah shakes hands with the winners of the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week award at a ceremony held on Sunday at Al Husseiniya Palace (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday honoured the winners of the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week award, a Royal Court statement said.

The award, connected to an initiative launched by the King at the 65th session of the United Nation General Assembly, aims at spreading awareness and understanding among interfaith dialogue groups through various international activities. 

HRH Prince Ghazi, the King’s personal envoy and adviser for religious and cultural affairs, delivered a speech at the ceremony in which he praised the World Interfaith Harmony Week’s spread and progress on the award’s sixth year.

The first prize for individuals was awarded to the Pastor of St Innocent Orthodox Church in Eureka, Priest Laurent Cleenewerck, who also delivered a speech on behalf of the awarded organisations in which he said that thanks should be given to all of the organisations and individuals who supported the harmony week which witnessed 800 activities, asserting that the world is in “real need” of this harmony.

The Royal Al Al Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought established this award in recognition of three activities or publications that best contribute to the promotion of World Interfaith Harmony Week, adopted by the UN (PV/65/a.34) resolution. The week is annually marked in the first week of February.

The idea behind the interfaith week comes from the work of the Common Word initiative that was launched in 2007 which called for Muslim and Christian scholars to engage in constructive dialogue based on shared values: the love of God and love of neighbour without religious prejudice, to strengthen the shared ideological religious ground, as these two messages are at the heart of all three major religions.

Cleenewerck said the Common Word initiative has grown in importance since its launch, proving that it has been drafted with a deep sense of foresight, according to the statement.

He stressed that “our shared future” requires that Muslims and Christians engage in dialogue on what brings them together, in order to encourage the world to engage more holistically in dialogue and harmony.

Euclid University received the first prize for the Common Word initiative for implementing several activities in the field of interfaith dialogue in Central Africa, Ethiopia, Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US.

The second prize for the World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrations in 2016 went to Uni-Harmony Partners in Manila for holding more than 20 activities in which 23 organisations and thousands of people participated. 


The Interfaith Harmony Halifax group won the third prize for its efforts to expand its influence through advertisements in Halifax and publishing data about interfaith dialogue, peace and friendship, according to the statement.

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