2016 was our busiest and most successful World Interfaith Harmony Week to date! We offered more diverse programs, events and projects, and we engaged a larger number of people in building interfaith relationships in our community.
We began our preparations for WIHW 2016 by submitting a Letter of Support to the UN World Interfaith Harmony website. The letter can be viewed on the WIHW website here.
The following descriptions contain links to find our more information about each. At the bottom you will find a selection of pictures from the week’s events.
Interfaith Art Display
“Letters from Beyond: A Spiritual Journey” is an interfaith installation art work created by Surrey artist Deborah Putman . The artwork was on display at Northwood United Church for the duration of WIHW 2016. Read more about the artwork and the artist statement here.
Interfaith Food Ministry
The Interfaith Food Ministry team served an amazing community meal as part of 2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week. This event was part of an ongoing community-led “Interfaith Bi-Weekly Food Ministry” that has been serving food and providing clothing every second Saturday for the past four years to people who are homeless in the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey. The nutritious meals are home cooked by members of the group. Pictures have been submitted separately, and you can learn more here.
This year the Surrey Interfaith Council piloted an “Interfaith Dinner” project. Participants were invited to submit an offer to host a dinner in their house, or to attend a dinner in someone else’s house. A coordinator matched up “host” and “guest” requests so that people from different religious and spiritual backgrounds were placed together. The pilot program was very successful and we intend to expand the program next year. You can read more about one dinner evening here.
A coalition of different regional interfaith groups hosted an Interfaith Panel Discussion on the theme of “Navigating Peace through Faith.” The event included speakers from ten different faith backgrounds. You can read more about the event here. Pictures have been submitted separately.
Celebration of Twentieth Anniversary of “Religious Horizons”
“Religious Horizons” first aired on Rogers TV in 1995-1996. This series of interviews was produced by Surrey Interfaith Council member and President of the Kabir Association of Canada, Dr. Jagessar Das. The series explores the beliefs of twelve different world religions: The Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, the Kabir Path, Sikhism, Taoism, Unitarianism and Zoroastrianism. The series is dedicated to all people interested in promoting interfaith harmony. It played an important role in building establishing the interfaith networks in the Surrey and Great Vancouver region. To mark the twentieth anniversary of this important project, we posted the video online and on our website here.
Surrey Interfaith Pilgrimage
2016 WIHW in Surrey wrapped up with our flagship event, the Surrey Interfaith Pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage involved a 16km walk across Surrey, stopping along the way at various houses of worship including the Thien Ton Buddhist Temple, Northwood United Church, Laxmi Narayana Hindu Mandir, Canadian Singh Sabha Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey Jamea Muslim Masjid, and Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. You can see a summary of the event here.