“World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the principles of tolerance and respect for the other that are deeply rooted in the world’s major religions. The observance is also a summons to solidarity in the face of those who spread misunderstanding and mistrust.” – Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
This week is World Interfaith Harmony Week, when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill come together to show the world what a powerful movement they are.
In honor of this special time, we asked members of our amazing Global Moms community how their own personal faith fuels informs their activism. Here is what nine had to say:
“Activism starts at home- by you supporting what you believe in and spreading that message to your children. Growing up as a Muslim Canadian means that I have always valued my faith, but at the same time, I respect the faith of others. Now that I’m a mother, I make sure my children know to respect and accept others regardless of what they look like on the outside. Furthermore, I encourage my children to show kindness to everyone they meet and to not judge individuals without getting to know them first. Together, as a family, we stand up for equal rights for all and for acceptance.” – Sumaira Zaheer, The Muslimah Mommy
“As a Christian, faith plays a huge role in determining what causes I become involved with. It’s easy to let our passions and emotions take the lead, but our faith requires us to ask what God would want us to do about any given situation. That doesn’t mean we stand back, but just that we look beyond ourselves when deciding what we stand for. Also, knowing that the Bible tells us to submit to governing authorities, because they were placed there by God and He is the ultimate authority (Romans 13:1) gives further direction in how we respond the world around us. I feel that we need to remember that we don’t see the whole picture or know the whole plan. I look first to the one who does, and then define my small role from there.” – Andi Kimbough, Live Love Blend and Good Enough Mother
“As a Jewish mom, we live our life according to the phrase “tikkun olam” – which means to heal the world- and this is what I strive to teach my kids as Jews and as members of this planet. I truly hope that their belief in Judaism fuels their passion for making this world a better place whether that means helping humans or animals or the environment. I hope when my kids look back on their childhoods they will see that our weekends spent volunteering with our local animal rescue, attending temple and participating in days of service to their community as the stuff that made them better human beings.” – Melissa Chapman, The Staten Island Family
“I think activism is optional. Evolution is not. We live in a world which is now crying out for inspiration and encouragement, which are as powerful as those that paved the way for activism. socialism and feminism. Out there, are so many women and men who work so hard to use their voices, writing, effort, energy, time, and money to bring a change in this world, and who help create agents of change too. I have been there, and I continue doing it too.” – Purnima Ramakrishnan, India; Senior Editor, World Moms Network & Heartfulness Trainer
“Our faith teaches us to love all people. During my 20-plus years of being a mom, I have witnessed firsthand that with faith all things are possible. That includes making wrong things right, and improving the conditions of injustice and inequality and overall quality of life. So when it comes to activism for me, I look at the world not through a lens of ethnicity, nationality, gender, or social and economic status, but instead with an open heart and mind of faith. I ask the questions, ‘What can I do to make someone’s life better? Who can I inspire or empower? How can I make a real impact? What is the best way for me to achieve this?’ Then I use the answers to those questions along with my faith as a tool to help guide my activism, every time, every day. And I teach my children to do the same.” – Makeba G., Melisa Source
“I’m asked often if I’m fearful of visiting countries outside of America, where culture, tradition, and faith vary from my own. The answer is no. In fact, it has heightened a whole new faith for me. A faith in humanity. Traveling is how I try to spread love, joy, and understanding to the world, including my children, because there is so much to learn outside of the bubble of fear. In 2017, I plan on continuing this faith in humanity and spreading what good I can through activism, social good projects and by simply being a loving parent.” – Amy Bellgardt, Mom Spark
“Ever since the children have been able to sit-up and actively participate in conversations and walk on their own, we have been engaging them in the act of Chesed. It’s an essential component of our Jewish belief system, and the opportunities to perform these acts of kindness are endless. Some of the ways that we have incorporated Chesed in our own lives is in the way of Bikur cholim, the act of visiting and caring for the sick and elderly. Our children attend religious schools and every year around the Jewish holidays their classes visit hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers in the area, handing out religious items. If you are looking for affordable religious items, why not check here and see a wide array of religious merchandise for sale. In addition, they make projects and sing songs to the patients and residents, giving them respect and attention. I remember one year when my daughter was counting down the days to this activity. She just gained so much from it, and that is a gift that we are most grateful for. Chesed, makes the world a better place.” – Esti Berkowitz, Prime Time Parenting
“My faith is what drives my activism. As a Christian, we have been taught that the very core of the message of Christianity is love. Above all,love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. We cannot sit back and be idle while people all over the world are being targeted because of their faith. My faith calls me to be active, to fight whats right and to ‘love another'”. – Maria Colaco, The New York Mom
“I rely on my Christian faith as a compass for my life and family choices. When making decisions on which social justice opportunities to get involved with, I always ponder what would be the best reflection of Jesus’ work here on earth, in our nation and in our communities. I also use this thought process in navigating and sharing the most effective examples for my children in fighting for justice. Our goal is to always be reflections of Christ.” – LaShaun Martin, Shootie Girl or LaShaun Martin
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Learn more about World Interfaith Harmony Week here and read the official resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly here.
How does your faith fuel your activism with your own family? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page here or tweet us at @GlobalMomChall using hash tag