Addis Ababa — On the occasion of the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace and International Year of Reconciliation, Ethiopian religious groups proclaimed April 5th the Day of Golden Rule.

It is in answering to the call of the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI) that the Religious Leaders of Ethiopia proclaim April 5th as the Golden Rule Day.

They also proclaimed September 21 as International Day of Peace under the coordination of Interfaith Peace-building Initiative to express their commitment to peace, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. They asserted that the quest for peace, justice, reconciliation, conflict resolution, and the need to overcome violence, binds religions, governments and the United Nations together. Their partnership is appropriate since they are major stakeholders in the creation of a better world for all.

‘The Golden Rule’ “treat others the way you want to be treated” is a pathway to peace, said Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Board Chairman of Interfaith Peace-building Initiative and Representative of United Religions Initiative to the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa.

This has been affirmed in many religions, traditions, indigenous cultures and secular philosophies as a fundamental principle of life and the foundation upon which the global ethic is founded. The message of the Golden Rule is simple, universal and powerful and is the most prevalent moral principle in human history, the Ambassador said, and went on to add, if humankind truly wants to see a culture of peace and justice prevail on Earth, it is high time the Golden Rule was promoted throughout the world as it is a fundamental principle that addresses critical issues such as democracy, human rights, respect for one another, gender equity, social development, interfaith harmony, constructive dialogue among nations, conflict prevention and amicable human relationships.

Ambassador Mussie further said “It is with this in mind that in 2007 IPI declared April 5 as ‘Golden Rule Day’ and called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders Mayors, Youth and Women Associations, Civil Societies and member States of the United Nations, African Union, European Union and the League of Arab Nations to join Interfaith Peace-building Initiative in proclaiming the Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for all the coming generations.” It is to be recalled that last year Interfaith Peace-building Initiative brought the different religions in Ethiopia together and established National Interfaith Peace Council in the country to emphasize their efforts in promoting a culture of peace, the Golden Rule, to build more trust, co-existence and interfaith cooperation at national level.

The religious institutions that came together to proclaim the Day include the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, Ethiopian Catholic Church, Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Mekane Yesus, Evangelical Church Fellowship of Ethiopia and The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of Ethiopia.

Interfaith is a member of United Religions Initiative, an international interfaith peace organization which is working for global peace and cooperation and has Consultative Status at the United Nations. It is a registered peace organization working to promote interfaith cooperation, a culture of peace, harmony, constructive dialogue and the Golden Rule, the Ambassador said.