World Religion Day UK
What is World Religion Day?
World Religion Day focuses on the promotion and understanding of interfaith and encourages people to acknowledge and accept those of different religions. The day gives people a chance to both share their religion and learn more about other religions.
It is celebrated on the third Sunday in January, every year, which means it falls on 21th January in 2024.
World Religion Day emerged from the Bhai’l which is a form or faith that emerged during the 19th Century Persia and follows three core principles: the Oneness of each God, Religion and Humankind. Although there are more than 4,000 religions recognised globally, 75% of the global population practise one 5 major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
How is World Religion Day Celebrated?
It is common for people from all religions to come together and celebrate this day, not only followers of the Baháʼí faith. The origin of the day was to encourage members of all religions to recognise that they have common spiritual goals.
World Religion Day services and events are held globally. People of different faiths often come together to gain a better understanding of other religions and celebrate the differences between all religions.
World Religion Day and Employment
Although there is no requirement for employers to give time off to observe religious holidays or for World Religion Day specifically, it is good practice for employers to adopt a flexible approach and support employees who observe a faith. Employers can do this by:
- Knowing the various religious festivals. When are they, how long do they last for, and will employees need adjustments at work? For example, employees may be fasting so lunch meetings should be avoided, and regular breaks offered, especially on warm days.
- Adopting flexible annual leave. For example, if the business doesn’t need to close over Christmas or Easter, can employees choose to work these Bank Holidays to allow for leave to be taken at Eid or Hanukkah for example?
- Invite employees or the faith network to share information about their religion, what it means to them and what they do to observe their faith.
- Raise awareness of Religions by sharing a calendar of festivals with employees.
- Offer unconscious Bias training to all employees.