As the Catholic marks the World Interfaith Harmony Week, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission for Interreligious Dialogue (ECID) has cited the need to forge friendship and unity among Christians, Muslims, the Lumads, and other religious denominations.
CBCP-ECID Executive Secretary Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra took time to remember the victims of the Marawi siege as well as the difficulties faced by the majority because of the pandemic.
“This is the World Interfaith Harmony Week and this message is specially for our friends in the area of Marawi that have been affected by the war, the siege that we know that remains painful not only visually but also in the heart. This activity is an occasion where people in that area can meet together and build friendship – Muslims and Christians can talk about the importance of the love of God, the love of your neighbor,” he said in his message during the 11th year of the Church’s observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
“It’s a special celebration this year because of COVID-19 with all the limitations but our hearts are not limited to love,” D’Ambra added. The Church marks World Interfaith Harmony Week every first week of February to foster unity and friendship among Christians, Muslims, indigenous peoples, and other religious denominations despite the differences in beliefs and practices.
According to D’Ambra, the observance focuses on the common good in the expression of love for God and neighbor.
He noted that this year’s observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week is particularly significant following the declaration of the International Day of Human Fraternity based on the agreement signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb on February 4, 2019 entitled “Human fraternity for world peace and living together.”