– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
On the 17th of January 2021, we celebrate World Religion Day. There are so many different religions worldwide and all of them deserve to be recognised and appreciated. As much as we may think that religion is what divides us and we allow the conflict that often comes from its contrasts, we fail to acknowledge the similarities that exist. We place a lot of significance on surface level practices but if we dig deep into the core of one’s faith, they all preach the same word. Religion has the potential to bring harmony and peace if followed appropriately as the essence of the core principles stemming from faith encourage this. The purpose of this day is to highlight that religions share a unifying force.
According to the Baha’i Blog, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States announced the establishment of World Religion Day in 1949. However, it was only initiated in 1950 and it is often celebrated on the third Sunday of January. Baha’i is a form of faith that emerged in 19th century Persia and follows three core principles: unity of God, religion and humankind. The Baha’is believe that all humans are born equal and have the same rights and duties irrespective.
Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate World Religion Day:
- Post a message that supports religious unity on your social media platform/s to create a conversation with a friend or loved one who practices a different faith
- Educate yourself about the different places of worship in your community
- Support Religious Organisations in your community
“O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men…Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure.”