Interfaith Harmony Youth Festival 2022
Interfaith Harmony Youth Festival, a series of programs (In person & Online) organized by Global Law Thinkers Society, Host Country Bangladesh and in partnership with United Religious Initiatives (URI) to take part in UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. 2022 theme has been chosen by UN is “The Diaspora-a Force for Positive Change” citing the ability of immigrant communities of diverse backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities to live side by side harmoniously bound together by shared values, love of God and love of neighbor.
Bangladesh located in South Asia with 18 crore populations of diverse religions and communities. As a developing country, it has been going through religious conflict and violence caused by hate speech, misunderstanding, misguiding and hostility among diverse groups. Furthermore, the minor religious communities are marginalised and vulnerable. The Global Law Thinkers Society has been working since 2010 to build a better world for all with its’ moto: together build better world. On the Occasion of World Interfaith Harmony Week 2022 recognised by UN General Assembly, Global Law Thinkers Society holds an innovative, sustainable and long-lasting visions to build a mutual and long-lasting relations among diverse religions to establish peace together. It is organising different events and programs in 3 largest districts of the country with the WIHW’s fundamental Religious Commandments: Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour.
A Digital Magazine with a Report will be available soon.
GLTS LEADER: Mahin Meherab Aunik
Title: Interfaith Winter Cloth Distribution and Live Program
Location: Circuit House, Barguna Roadside Homeless People
On 29th January, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers started journey by donating the poor and homeless people of every religion and caste. They establish a view in front of everyone that people of every religion, ethnicity, caste are the same. Sometimes people divide people by their religion or caste, It's totally Against humanity. No religion said that only help your religious people.
Title: Interfaith Movement and Tree Distribution Campaign
Location: Father of the nation monument, District Shahid minar, Ognijhora 71 monument, Freedom Fighters Monument, Tree plantation: DC Office premises, Barguna, Barguna District
On 5th February, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers started the interfaith movement to aware local people, tree distribution and plantation to promote peace and harmony. People from the rural or native areas don't get that much of chances o quality education and higher studies. These are the major cause of religious violence. They have strong faith in their religion but at the end of the day, it's just dogmatism, nothing more than that. So, the GLTS Leaders created awareness among these people. They stood with some placards at the top five monuments in the city and talked to passersby and other people, explained them what is interfaith and importance for interfaith harmony for us.
Title: Cricket Match for Interfaith Harmony
Location: Circuit House Field, Barguna, Barguna District
On 12th February, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers organized the cricket match for interfaith harmony. Sports is a kind of event where the distance between different religions is demolished. In a team every religious people can play as a team, they play for their country. It's the best demo that if we, all religious people can stay together then the world would be better. Sports teaches us the unity, that humbleness that the world most in need. Everyone should respect other's religion. Sports ties people in one line and this is actual views of sports and sportsmanship.
Title: Interfaith Debate Competition
Location: Calyx Academy, Barguna, Barguna District
On 18th February, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers organized debate competition. The debate has happened on the topic "Religious harmony can prevent militancy and religious degradation" (ধর্মীয় সম্প্রীতি পারে জঙ্গীবাদ ও ধর্মীয় অবক্ষয় রোধ করতে). This topic brought the previous scenario of some wars and also the importance of good practice of religion. In the competition, speakers brought some important points on good practice of religion. When someone does the good practice of religion, he might be thinking positively, wisely, but those people who use religion like their business with bad intentions that is not acceptable. On the other hand, the bad practice of religion can create divisions among people. Which can create war, chaos or violence. They will fight each other to finish each other and the world will be destroyed day by day. If they do the good practice of religion, then they will understand destroying other religious people is destroying humanity. They will stay together, think together, work together, want to make this World better together. One of the biggest solutions to militancy is to educate about interfaith harmony and people understand the value of unity.
Title: Children Art Competition
Location: Calyx Academy, Barguna, Barguna District
On 19th February, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers organized Art Competition for Kids. Art is one of the best ways to visualize thoughts of human. From history, there were lots of significant marks were created by art. It works for the freedom of human speech. People can fight with the art, they can create the scenario of freedom. Art can fight. The topic was religious harmony. Every people should be treated the same. The message through art was that the people of every religion and ethnic people or from any caste should be treated equal. The knowledge of interfaith shouldn’t be captured only by the adults. Kids also have to gather the knowledge, so that they can understand and develop positive thoughts from childhood. They will grow up with a positive mentality. So, everyone should know about different faiths and interfaith harmony. Only then we can expect a better world in the future.
Title: Political Dialogue on Interfaith
Location: Barguna Municipality Hall Room, Barguna DistrictChief and other Guests: SP, UNO, President of Press Club, Councilor, Civil society and Political activist along with COO,GLTS
On 25th February, Barguna District GLTS Leaders and volunteers arranged a dialogue exchange program named ' Political Dialogue on interfaith '. Through this program we tried our best to create awareness and cautious, besides, we were finding solutions in this matter. We took opinions of the administrative officials and political parties. Peoples of administration, in the country like Bangladesh, like another government, because they can do lots of things positively and negative also. All agreed with some points which are the ways or opinions we were gathering from the beginning of the series of our programs. They also want a world free of religious violence and gave many ideas to aware people. All committed to establish a violence free, happy country or world through taking step/initiatives to stop religious violence.
GLTS LEADER: Monir Hossen Sarek
Title: Dialogue Exchange and Holy Book distribution
Topic: Respect Towards Diversity - Building Mutual Relations Among Diverse Communities
Location: Mosque, Temple, Pagoda and Church in Chattogram City, Chattogram District
Guests: The representatives of the religions Leaders, Local Youth and Volunteers
As a part of the initiatives, Global Law Thinkers Society – Chittagong District organized a program to build and connect mutual relations among diverse religions including marginalized communities. The program “Dialogue Exchange and Holy Book distribution” is going to be held with its moto “Respect Towards Diversity - Building Mutual Relations Among Diverse Communities” at various Mosque, Temple, Pagoda and Church in Chittagong district under the banner of “Interfaith Harmony Festival : Love and Respect for All". The program has been organized by GLTS Leaders and Volunteers. The members and representatives of diverse religions were invited. The program was one day long at 4 sacred places. The dialogue exchange and holy book distribution was held among religious representatives, members, GLTS leaders and volunteers.
GLTS LEADER: Mahir Daiyan
Title: Religious Gurus and Youth Dialogue Exchange
Topic: Interfaith Harmony
Location: Zoom, FB Live
1st of March a series of virtual program organized to unite people for interfaith harmony. Bangladesh is a pluralistic society, with the people following many religions, faiths, norms, values and traditions. The majority of the Bangladeshi population identifies as Muslim, while the other religious groups are Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and few other small religious groups also co-exist. Bangladesh is the brightest example of peace and interfaith harmony. Yet, religious issues are always very sensitive and used as a weapon to create chaos. The most common problem sorted out is religious misconceptions among the present-day youth where they easily get involved in identity and ego crises and grow a tendency to break religious harmony. But today’s youth are future leaders to establish peace. Educating children and youth about religious harmony will help them to mitigate chaos created for religious purpose, bring resilience, increase tolerance, decrease divisions and make them thoughtful about unity. The program “Religious Gurus and Youth Dialogue Exchange” has been organized to clear the clouds of misconceptions among different religious youth groups specially from Bangladesh and give them a new perspective to bring deep thought for the importance of interfaith harmony and how to achieve them.
We invited multi-religious gurus, free thinkers from Bangladesh and other countries to bring the diversified thoughts and knowledge for youth. So that they know the purposes of religion and clear clouds in their thoughts. Invited Speakers were:
1. Md. Sazzad Hossain, who is a Bangladeshi Muslim Speaker for Removing Islamic Misconceptions, Business Analyst, nTier Solutions
2. Mohammad Akhtarujjaman, who is a Muslim from Bangladesh, have completed Islamic Studies, CEO, BDWEBS.com
3. Biswadeb Chakraborty (RDS), who is a Hindu from India and National India Team Coordinator and Regional Coordinator for URI-Asia, India, East Zone.
4. Rev. Kalyan Kumar Kisku, who is a Priest from India, eminent social leader and Global Trustee of URI (United Religions Initiatives)
5. Dr. Junius Silva, who is a Cristian from Sri Lanka, distinguished public speaker, toastmasters, strategist, political advisor, social worker and a businessman.
6. AMB. Faith Hung Lin Lin, who is a free thinker from Singapore and Goodwill Ambassador for Singapore, Chairperson for SUNFO Global Federation, Women’s Wing International
7. Chandra Kishore Tripura, Buddhist Speaker, General Secretary, Biyarong Orphanage, Dighinala, Khagrachhari, Bangladesh
8. Sourav Tripura, who is a Buddhist and Tripura tribal from Bangladesh, an advocate and Khagrachhori District Leader of Global Law Thinkers Society.
Biswadeb Chakraborty said how important it is to include different religious people in the list of friends. He suggested to the youth to make a list of 10 friends and find out if there are any other religious friends present or not. If not present, he advised to include friends from other religions which will help to bring understanding, love for each other and they can be resilient towards each other's beliefs. He also said how he interacts with other religious people by talking to them whenever he gets a chance and suggested doing the same to the youth. Love and respect can bring interfaith harmony he mentioned.
Rev. Kalyan Kumar Kisku said that joining organizations like United Religions Initiatives and interfaith programs help to bring mindset change regarding religious fanatic views. He also mentioned that no religion talks about violence, so we should bring different religious children under a platform, educate them about basics of different religions and guide them for interfaith harmony. If we can arrange this our children will get a free mind and will learn to love people as humans, not based on what their religious belief is.
Amb. Faith Hung Lin Lin said about the importance of interfaith harmony. She said interfaith harmony enhances self-growth, strengthening our sense of identity by form of even deeper understanding of what defines our faith. She mentioned that we have to accept that we are all unique individuals with differences but we have to uphold collective interest for the human race. She said that interfaith harmony can be achieved through community projects that serve common social causes such as economic crisis, climate change and healthcare issues. This brings people together for joint participation in taking common action.
Md. Sazzad Hossain emphasized on to clear misconception regarding religious beliefs. He suggested religious harmony is not about following the beliefs or traditions of each other religions rather to respect each other and create harmony. He has given an example of Bangladesh present misconception “ধর্ম যার যার উৎসব সবার” (Religion is everyone's festival) that created a big chaos in different religions. He said that neither Muslim nor Hindu can follow each other rituals. In Hinduism the cow considered as divine where Muslims are slaughtering cow in their religious festival, so a Muslim cannot invite a Hindu to join the festival or a Hindu cannot come for their belief and respect. Same way, in puja (worship) festivals Muslims cannot take part because this is prohibited in Islam. He mentioned Islam suggested to respect others religions, not to hurt others, not to speak bad about other religions. He said that we need to know own religion well because Islam taught about how to keep peace and in other words religious harmony.
Chandra Kishore Tripura has represented their Tripura tribe and talked about the importance of religious resiliency. He suggested that youth should meet different religious people, learn about different religions and thus religious resiliency can be built.
Dr. Junius Silva suggested interfaith harmony dialogue should be discussed all time. He said that animals, nature and every creation are united where humans are fighting for no reason. Sourav Tripura conveyed a message of peace.
Mohammad Akhtarujjaman said based on Quran, Hadith and the life stories of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that how Islam restricted to harm other religious people, stop chaos in society and promoted religious resiliency. He said to bring changes in mindset of Muslim youth, they should practice Islam by knowing properly and follow the life style of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
After listening to all speakers and questions-answers sessions for youth, all agreed upon one point is that religions are created to establish peace not war. The more we know each other the more we understand each other. The more we feel and love each other the more we become tolerant towards each other. To establish interfaith harmony, we need to organize more exchange programs, dialogue exchange, awareness programs, workshops and most importantly our own religious studies. Because no religion talked about division but to bring love and respect to each other for building a peaceful world.
Paper Presented by: Advocate Mahin Meherab Aunik
Title: Laws for Interfaith Paper Presentation
Location: Zoom, FB Live
On 2nd March we organized paper presentation on laws for interfaith. At the center of all the confidence frameworks and customs lies the acknowledgment that we are better off sticking together and that we really want to cherish and uphold each other to live in congruity; and to coincide calmly in a naturally manageable world. The ethical goals of all religions, convictions and convictions call for harmony, resistance and shared understanding. Our reality keeps on being astounded by struggle and bigotry with rising number of evacuees and the inside dislodged in a threatening and unpleasant world around them. We are additionally seeing messages of disdain spreading friction among individuals, making cracks and building dividers, when all we really want are spans. The requirement for otherworldly direction has never been more prominent. On the planet the way things are today, we genuinely should try harder to spread the message of good amiability in light of our normal humankind no matter what our beliefs and strict customs. In order to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people, there is an imperative for dialogue among different faiths and religions. Realising that need, the General Assembly, through its resolution encouraged all States to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship during that week, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions