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World Religion Day

The third Sunday in January is annually celebrated as World Religion Day. It was established by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States in 1950 as a way to encourage interfaith understanding.

Is World Religion Day a Public Holiday?

World Religion Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, January 20, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours.

Religions around the world, including Christianity, are celebrated on the third Sunday in February.

©iStockphoto.com/Zsolt Nyulaszi

Celebrate World Religion Day

Many organizations celebrate the day by holding interfaith events where faith leaders get together to give talks and lectures. People are encouraged to talk to and listen to people from faiths different than their own and to understand the basic tenets of other religions.

What's Open or Closed?

World Religion Day is not an official holiday so businesses, schools and government offices are open.

About World Religion Day

Baha’i is a form of faith that emerged in 19th century Persia and follows three core principles: unity of God, religion and humankind. The Baha’is believe that there is a single God and the spirituality of all religions in the world stem from this single god. They also believe that all humans are born equal and have the same rights and duties irrespective.

Keeping in line with this philosophy, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States announced the institution of World Religion Day in 1949. The first such day was observed in 1950.

The day calls for members of all religions in the world to recognize that all religions have common spiritual goals.

World Religion Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2013SunJan 20World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2014SunJan 19World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2015SunJan 18World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2016SunJan 17World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2017SunJan 15World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2018SunJan 21World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2019SunJan 20World Religion DayWorldwide observance
2020SunJan 19World Religion DayWorldwide observance

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