Dawoodi Bohra members of Mississauga were delighted to attend the third Interfaith Prayer Virtual Gathering hosted by Mayor Bonnie Crombie and the Interfaith Council of Peel. Honouring Canada’s Year of the Garden and the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week, the theme of this year’s gathering was “Nurturing Diversity.”
UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, an initiative started in 2007, has inspired religious groups across the world to strengthen interfaith ties. Every year, the first week of February is dedicated to dialogue between numerous faiths to find ways to enhance mutual understanding, harmony, and cooperation. The UN initiative has encouraged a host of global, regional, and sub-regional efforts to foster a sense of peace, tolerance and goodwill among people.
With inspiration from the UN interfaith movement, the virtual gathering in Mississauga was a platform to embrace diversity and discuss the ways in which the City and its various religious communities are addressing equity and inclusion. Combining nature with diversity, leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and Sikh communities discussed how their respective religious scriptures and texts teach the followers to value nature and care for it. All speakers stated that nature is a sacred source of optimism and vitality that should be nurtured through diverse community effort.
In her closing remarks, Mayor Crombie said that the City of Mississauga and its various partners and religious groups were committed to engage in gardening and conservation efforts that will benefit the environment as well as individual and community wellbeing.
Sharing his thoughts on the importance of diversity in preserving nature, the President of the Mississauga Dawoodi Bohra community, Mr Behlah Ayman, said, “Although people belong to different faiths, certain beliefs unite us. Nurturing nature is one such fundamental belief shared by all faiths. Caring for the environment is a global responsibility and the Dawoodi Bohra community is proud to collaborate with local communities, faiths and organizations to work towards conserving and protecting it.”