News Release

Church of Jesus Christ celebrates 10th Annual Peace Camp for Interfaith Harmony Week

Over 100 young people from various faiths and beliefs came together for a one-day Peace Camp on February 3, 2024, at the FSY Facility of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tanay, Rizal.

The Peace Camp aimed to celebrate solidarity and peace for the 2024 World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW). Apart from the usual meet-and-greet opportunities, the delegates enjoyed team-building activities that tested them physically, mentally and emotionally.

“What a wonderful opportunity it is to be here and join the worldwide celebration for the 2024 World Interfaith Harmony Week. It is a blessing for Filipinos to come together from different beliefs and backgrounds with solidarity and peace,” Anthony John Balledos, the Associate Director for Public Affairs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, said in his remarks.

“It's a privilege also to be with these youth that bring with them the message of compassion and love to oneself so that we may make this world a better place to live in,” he added.

These annual Peace Camps in the Philippines are organized and sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and, for the past decade, have established connections with youth from other religious organizations.

Apart from those from the Church of Jesus Christ, the youth delegates who attended the 2024 Peace Camp were sent from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Fo Guang Shan, Parokya ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo, Focolare Philippines, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary (HASS), and Iglesia Filipina Independiente, among others.

“This will be a good day for you to bond and become friends and hopefully to realize that here we are all brothers and sisters in one Creator and God,” Rev. Fr. Richard Babao, the Assistant Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs of HASS, said to the youth participants.

“The intention, hopefully after this day's activities, is to realize that we are a member of this huge family where there are no boundaries. Rather, what we have is so much love from the One who created us, and this love is what we want to share with each other,” he emphasized.

The young men and women were grouped into teams comprised of participants from different faiths and religions to learn more about each other's similarities and beliefs. The groups were encouraged to participate in carefully curated activities that urged them to open up to and trust each other.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was conceived to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence and was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the United Nations in 2010. This was quickly adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, declaring the first week of February each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week, calling on governments, institutions, and civil society to observe it with various programs and initiatives that would promote the aim of the WIHW objectives.

For 2024, the theme of the WIHW is ‘Uniting for Peace.' WIHW is organized and celebrated worldwide to increase mutual understanding, harmony, and cooperation. The need of dialogue between different faiths and religions is needed more than ever, especially with the armed conflict that is currently raging in several places around the globe.

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