Established by Interfaith Scotland in 2004, Scottish Interfaith Week provides an opportunity for individuals, local interfaith groups and faith communities across the country to celebrate Scotland's religious diversity and to plan events that bring local people together to promote dialogue, understanding and co-operation between Scotland's diverse religious communities.
According to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, "Scotland is a modern multi-faith and multi-cultural country where all people can live together in harmony, and where people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds can follow their religion or belief and achieve their potential. These events are tremendously important in bringing together different communities united in a common purpose. We all want to live in a Scotland where mutual trust, respect and understanding form the basis for our lives and our relationships with others. I know that these basic principles will underpin the various events being held up and down the country during interfaith week”.
Scottish Interfaith Week 2016 took place from 13th - 20th November. The theme was 'Religion and the Media'. The media plays an increasingly important role in people's lives, whether through newspapers, TV, radio or social media and many people are influenced by what they read, see and hear. Media reporting can have a powerful effect on people of different faiths, both positive and negative. The 2016 theme gave us an opportunity to explore our complex relationship with the media, how we can share the positive stories of faith and interfaith work and challenge some of the negative reporting and stereotypes about people of different faiths in the media.
We have some wonderful blogs from our volunteer interfaith ambassadors and staff who have been reporting on a variety of Scottish Interfaith Week events. You can read their stories at: https://interfaithscotland.wordpress.com/
A programme of events that took place during the week can be found below.
Click here for resources for Scottish Interfaith Week for schools, youth and community groups.
The winners of the Scottish Interfaith Week art competition on the theme of 'Religion and the Media' were pupils from Wallace Primary School in Elderslie, Renfrewshire who won £50 for their school and a tour of BBC Scotland.
Scottish Interfaith Week took place from 22nd - 29th November. The theme was 'Care for the Environment'. The Climate Change Summit which took place in Paris in December 2015 provided a focus for dialogue on what faiths had to say about caring for the environment and protecting it for future generations. Around 70 events took place across Scotland during a vibrant and thought-provoking week. The launch of Scottish Interfaith Week took place at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Sunday 22nd November. A programme of events which took place during the week is below. Click here for specific resources on the 2015 theme of 'Care for the Environment'.
Scottish Interfaith Week in 2014 took place from 23rd - 30th November.The theme for 2014 was 'Journeys of Faith'. Ideas around this theme included people's personal journeys of faith, an inner journey towards greater spiritual understanding, a physical journey of pilgrimage, looking at the theme of 'journeys' in different faith traditions and scriptures and journeys taken by the prophets or founders of a faith tradition. A programme of events that took place during Scottish Interfaith Week 2014 is below.
Scottish Interfaith Week in 2013 took place from 24th November - 1st December. The theme for the week was 'Values and Visions for Scotland' in preparation for the Scottish Referendum in September 2014.
Click here to watch a video with highlights from the National Celebration which took place in Kirkcaldy on 26th November. The programme for 2013 appears below.
Scottish Interfaith Week in 2012 took place from 25th November - 2nd December. The theme for the week was ‘Celebration’. Click here for a programme of events that took place across Scotland to celebrate the week.
Interfaith Scotland hosted 'A Celebration of Scottish Interfaith Week' at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 29th November. The Waverley Care Voice of Hope Choir opened the proceedings, delighting guests with their African songs.
Sister Isabel Smyth, Chair of Interfaith Scotland, formally welcomed those gathered and introduced Roseanna Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, who gave the keynote address. Two members of Interfaith Scotland’s youth committee spoke about what interfaith dialogue means to them in today’s Scotland. The formal proceedings were completed with a speech from John Mason MSP who sponsored the event.
Scottish Interfaith Week in 2011 took place from 27th November - 4th December. The theme of the week was 'Belief in Dialogue'. Earlier in the year, the Scottish Government produced the ‘Belief in Dialogue: Religion and Belief Relations in Scotland Good Practice Guide’, which provides guidance on building good relations among and between religious and belief communities and individuals. Click here for a programme of events that took place across Scotland to mark the week.
There were readings and performances on the theme from all the major faith communities in Scotland, including the Tashi Lhunpo Tibetan Buddhist monks who had created an intricate sand mandala at the museum during the week. The event incorporated a special ceremony with the mandala to mark its creation and dissolution.