By Richard Yeakley
Religion News Service
The United Nations kicked off the first "World Interfaith Harmony Week" on Tuesday (Feb. 1) to promote dialogue and civility among the world's religions.
The observances are meant to reaffirm that "mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace," according to a resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly.
The resolution establishes the annual events during the first week of February each year.
The observances have garnered support from international leaders including King Albert of Belgium and Jordan's King Abdullah II and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad.
The three goals of the "World Interfaith Harmony Week" are to coordinate efforts of positive work; to use places of worship to foster peace; and to encourage religious clergy to declare support for peace.
As many as 44 separate events were scheduled around the world on Wednesday (Feb. 2), according to the World Interfaith Harmony website.