Some of the wars and conflicts of the past and present were fought over land and resources, but many have been over religious differences. In this past century, a global interfaith movement has been growing, helping to raise consciousness about the need for tolerance and understanding between different cultures and religions. This movement has helped highlight the common goals that most religions share, such as the Golden Rule, which is at the heart of nearly all religious traditions. At the same time, many throughout the world are discovering that 'spirituality' -- a deep connection to a greater purpose for humanity -- is an important driving force in their lives, even if they aren't religious.
UNESCO, working with religious and spiritual NGOs, is currently developing an action plan for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace. The flagship event, a Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace took place on June 22, 2005. Interfaith Day is an opportunity for all who value spirituality in their lives to connect and unite in our wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world based on values grounded in our deeper spiritual connection to each other and the world around us.
World Spirituality Day is observed on December 31 as a time for the spiritual community to join together to celebrate the victories for peace, tolerance and understanding that have been won throughout the year and to rededicate our lives to our spiritual paths.