Nine lives? No, nine major faiths working as one. . .

Thames Valley Baha’i Community has welcomed a government-sponsored initiative to encourage people of all beliefs to help improve their local neighbourhoods.

Launched at the national Baha’i centre in London, it’s a move to promote collaboration between the UK’s nine major faith communities – Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian.

Shawn Khorassani, a Thames Valley Baha’i, said: “This announcement is great news, coming as it did just a couple of weeks before Naw-Ruz – which symbolises new beginnings in the Baha’i faith. Unity is very important to Baha’is. We hope this will help to cement relationships between the UK’s nine major faiths.”

The program, titled “A Year of Service”, aims to recognise the role of faith in inspiring charitable work. Twelve special volunteering days are being held during 2012, each of them coinciding with an existing religious festival and focusing on a distinct theme for community action.