News release: Thousands set to take part in Inter Faith Week 2023
10 November 2023
Inter Faith Week 2023 begins on Sunday, helping stengthen and deepen inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK.
The Week's aims are to:
- Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
- Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
- Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs
Inter Faith Week, now in its 15th year, is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK.
The 2023 Week will see many different kinds of activities: remembrance events; faith trails and place of worship open days; discussions and dialogues; campus and school activities; cultural events; quizzes and competitions; podcasts; inter faith volunteering; tree planting; sports activities; and more. With the festival of Diwali taking place at this time, a number of events have that as a focus for celebration and learning. A ‘taster’ of events accompanies this release here.
Hundreds of organisations will be taking part, including: faith, belief and inter faith organisations; places of worship; community groups; charities; schools, colleges and universities; local authorities; companies and staff networks; housing associations; sports clubs; hospitals and hospices and care organisations; police, fire and ambulance services; libraries and museums; youth organisations; and many other types of organisation. Faith leaders have been invited to issue special messages for the Week on Monday.
The Week is timed to begin each year on Remembrance Sunday, encouraging remembering together of the service of those of different backgrounds from the UK and the Commonwealth and reflection on peace.
A special feature this year is encouragement by the Inter Faith Network for the UK to people to reach out and have a conversation with someone of a different faith or belief.
Each year, a number of Inter Faith Week activities respond to particular issues, such as food insecurity, domestic abuse or impacts of geopolitical events on inter faith relations in the UK. Inter Faith Week is always important. It has a particular significance at times, perhaps, at times when religiously related hate crimes spike and at times of tension. As one local authority notes on its schools message board, “Given recent events, schools might want to use this week as an opportunity to promote community cohesion, interfaith (and belief) relations and how what we hold in common is more than – and deeper than – our differences. This is more than RE. It is whole school and whole community values and co-existence.”
In words from a statement about standing together against hate crime issued recently by the Board of the Inter Faith Network for the UK:
"Views on situations and actions in the UK and internationally may differ (indeed may differ profoundly, with people deeply affected by events); what cannot and must not waiver is our commitment as people of different faiths in the UK to maintaining a safe environment for our lives together and to sustaining and continuing to develop relationships of trust and respect."
(Full statement at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/standing-together-against-hate-crime)
Inter Faith Week provides support for, and helps to strengthen, that commitment to creating a safe environment and sustaining and continuing to develop relationships of trust and respect, as well as a boost to inter faith engagement in the UK, and to religious literacy, and understanding and cooperation for the common good.
The Trustees of the Inter Faith Network and the Inter Faith Week team wish all who are taking part a successful and positive Inter Faith Week.
- Enquiries about the Week: IFN office - 020 7730 0410; and email@example.com. Interviews available.
- A copy of this press release is available at https://www.interfaithweek.org/news/press-releases
- More about the Week can be found at: www.interfaithweek.org. The interactive map can be searched by town, date and type of activity. More events are being added daily.
- Inter Faith Week encourages everyone to share messages of support for the Week and its aims, or short thoughts on why these are important, using the hashtag #InterFaithWeek and tagging @ifweek. Inter Faith Week logos and branding can be found here.
- Inter Faith Week social media accounts can be found at http://www.twitter.com/IFWeek, http://www.facebook.com/ifweek, http://www.instagram.com/IFWeek and www.linkedin.com/showcase/ifweek.
- A page of useful pointers for dialogues and conversations can be found at https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/dialogue
- Inter Faith Week is a programme of the Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN) www.interfaith.org.uk, a charity which has been working since 1987 to promote inter faith understanding and cooperation in the UK.
- IFN works in consultation with the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum and the Inter-faith Council for Wales/Cyngor Rhyngffydd Cymru in relation to the Week in those nations.
- Scottish Interfaith Week is led by Interfaith Scotland (http://www.interfaithscotland.org). It has its own dedicated website at: www.scottishinterfaithweek.org. Scottish Interfaith Week also takes place from 12 to 19 November and this year will be on the theme of Community. Scottish Interfaith Week, from which Inter Faith Week took its inspiration, has been running since 2004.
- Mitzvah Day, a Jewish-led day of social action, takes place on the last day of Inter Faith Week. Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day have a close working relationship and many activities are arranged to jointly mark Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day, known as ‘Inter Faith Mitzvah Days’. https://mitzvahday.org.uk
- November is also Islamophobia Awareness Month, and some activities are being jointly held to mark both Islamophobia Awareness Month and Inter Faith Week. https://www.islamophobia-awareness.org