Bahai News -- Jubilee to celebrate multi-faith UK Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK

Jubilee to celebrate multi-faith UK

The Queen visits the Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, PakistanThe Queen has visited mosques abroad
The Queen is to pay her first visit to a UK mosque during her Golden Jubilee tour of the UK, Buckingham Palace has announced.

She will also visit Hindu, Sikh and Jewish groups during the celebrations and other members of the Royal Family will be making visits to non-Christian religious groups.

The visits are to reflect the important role played by varied religious groups in modern, multi-faith, multi-cultural Britain, said a palace spokesman.

Queen's visits
6 June: Highgate Hill Murugan (Hindu) Temple, London
24: July: Manchester Jewish Museum
31 July: Scunthorpe Islamic Centre
1 August: Guru Nanak Gurdhwara (Sikh), Leicester
"The purpose of each of these visits is to...show that non-Christian, as well as Christian, communities are central to contemporary Britain," he added.

Other Royals who will visit non-Christian religious groups include Prince Andrew, who will attend a Baha'i reception in central London in July.

Prince Edward will visit a Jain temple in Leicester and a Zoroastrian thanksgiving service in north London with his wife Sophie, according to the palace.

A senior royal will also attend a Buddhist gathering later in the year.

On the evening of 10 June, the Queen will host a reception at the palace for representatives of different faith communities.

'Ground-breaking'

Eighty people, aged between 16 and 24, have been chosen through consultation with the UK's nine historic faiths - Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism - local education authorities and the Independent Schools Council.

The youngsters will also meet Prince Charles at the Golden Jubilee Young People's Youth Forum in St James's Palace.

Minister for young people and learning Ivan Lewis called the forum "a tribute to the idealism of young people and proof of the positive spirit in which faith communities are responding to the Golden Jubilee".

Buckingham Palace The Queen will host a reception at Buckingham Palace

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said the event would be "truly representative, inclusive and ground-breaking".

"With delegates coming from as far afield as Cornwall and the Western Isles, we hope it will act as a model for similar national events."

The government had been "particularly keen the multi-faith nature of UK society" be reflected in the celebrations, Ms Jowell explained.

"The Jubilee is bringing together young people from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to explore what it means to be a young person of faith."

Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews are the four largest British non-Christian groups.


©Copyright 2002, BBC (UK)

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