The third Sunday in January is annually celebrated as World Religion Day. It was established by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í of the United States in 1950. It was initially inspired by the Bahá’í principles of Oneness of Religion and Progressive Revelation. The purpose was to encourage interfaith understanding of the oneness of all religions and religions’ role in unifying humanity. This day is now celebrated internationally.
Today there are many interfaith movements. In fact, justice is by nature interfaith, because people of every faith promote what is right and good for humanity, earth, and all of creation. Whether all religion will someday be one can be debated, however, theologians like Dorothee Söelle have written:
“Speaking in terms of an image, I picture the religions of the world in a circle
with the center as the mystery of the world, the deity. …
We approach the center of the circle in that the distances
between the various points of departures on the periphery
become ever smaller the closer we come to the center.
And so, the differences between individual religious approaches
also become less important: in the heart of God they have disappeared altogether.” p 51 1
As people of faith committed to being a strong voice in the world for God’s justice, it is necessary to respect and to join with others – both other people of faith as well as those who have no faith in order to claim our global humanity and to save our common home. Today’s celebration can remind us.