World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and adopted on October 20, 2010, on the premise that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February since 2011.
To mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2013, an event, ‘United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony’, was organized on February 14, 2013, at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, by the Office of the President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.
ZAGNY’s Joint Secretary Nina Mistry had the honor to represent the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) at the
“United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony’ event. The event comprised of three parts – The Role of Interfaith Harmony in the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes; Symphony of Peace Prayers; World Peace Flag Ceremony. Several world faiths were represented – Indigenous, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian. The Symphony of Peace Prayers in the General Assembly Hall is of historic relevance as prayers are not usually offered in the General Assembly Hall. However, to highlight different religious and spiritual traditions sharing a message of peace, representatives from each of the diverse religious, indigenous or faith traditions were invited to offer prayers, readings and invocations with a message of peace.
At this truly unique opportunity for Zoroastrian prayers to be recited in the General Assembly Hall, Nina recited in Avestan, Yasna Verse 60.5 and from the Ahunavaiti Gatha, Yasna Verse 29.10, followed by an English translation of the prayers. The prayers called for the triumph of peace over discord, generosity over greed, devotion over arrogance, and that with the Good Mind, we may bring the world peace and happiness.