News Release

Church Celebrates WIHW 2020 with Bacolod Interfaith Community 

A strong rhythm of harmony swept over the Bacolod Philippines Stake (Diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as leaders of different faiths gathered in celebration of the 2020 World Interfaith Harmony Week

Held on 20 February 2020, President Rossen Bon Escobar of the Bacolod Philippines Stake opened the interfaith dinner with a message that resonated this year’s theme Dialogue Towards Harmony and invited all to share their messages of peace.


Among the invited leaders were Most Rev. Patricio A. Buzon, S.D.B., D.D., Bishop of Bacolod; Rev. Fr. Christopher Gonzales, San Sebastian Cathedral; Mr. Alfredo Jimenez, representative of Rev. Fr. Angelo Ansula, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish; Pastor Ritchemar Silva Macoy, Massebah-Zoe Christian Ministery; Rev. Fr. Romulo Biangco, Iglesia Filipina Independiente; Pastor Emilio Henares, River of Life Ministries International; Pastor Daniel Gareza and Danilo Eñano, Royal Bethany Site Baptist Church; and Shirley Lim and Girlie Cape, representatives of the Taoist Temple.

“What a beautiful gesture of starting this unity, harmony and peace building among diverse faiths and working together for a common cause,” said Most Rev. Buzon as he expressed his gratitude on the interfaith initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ. It’s the first time for such an event held in Bacolod City.

Other faith leaders also shared the same sentiment as they shared their message of peace and harmony.

Elder Evan A. Schmutz, General Authority Seventy assigned to serve in the Philippines Area Presidency of the Church was also present in the momentous occasion. “You are representatives of people we love and as men and women who look unto God,” he said in his message. “We are made better neighbors.”

Elder Schmutz also explained why the Church strives to build interfaith relations with those of other faiths. He shared that the 11th Article of Faith explained the reason the Church advocates for religious freedom and harmony. “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

The two-hour program was filled with courteous smiles and conversations of love and respect to each other with the hope that unity and harmony may exist despite diversified religions.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees fellow believers as partners in many causes for good in the world, sharing mutual concern in service and common desire to care for one another in building strong families and communities.

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