Unification News for March 2004

India Prayer for Peace Candlelight Ceremony

In India candlelight prayers were arranged in many different places, including New Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Unity of Man Ashram H.Q in Punjab, and many other locations in Delhi. The main ceremony was at Rajghat, New Delhi, December 22, 2003, the cremation ground of Mahatma Gandhi, since Mahatma Gandhi is considered an apostle of peace worldwide. I firmly believe that it was the best place to do the Prayer for Peace in the Middle East. Our Ambassador for Peace and Chairperson of Rajghat, Ms. Nirmala Deshpande, helped us to secure the place.

We started inviting leaders and people from all religions from the beginning of December. Everyone was very positive about the program. Even though many people couldn’t come, they offered us their moral support and assured us that they would do the prayer at their own place. In Delhi our main ceremony was held from 4 to 5 pm. The Rajghat authorities were very cooperative and welcomed us. Leaders from all the major religions, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Unificationism, were there. From each of the faiths we had a prayer and a song of peace.

The program started with a brief explanation of the purpose of the program by Manoj Jacob. The invocation was given by Ven. Lama Lobzang, followed by the prayer of a Hindu religious leader, Swami Pragyanand Ji Maharaj. Then a Muslim leader, Khwaja Ahmed Nizami, offered a prayer, and a group of Afghan Muslim children from a school run by WFWP-Afghanistan sang a song of peace. After that people from a large Hindu spiritual group called Brahma Kumaris prayed and chanted, followed by Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian religious leaders respectively.

Finally, representing Unificationism, Mrs. Ursula McLackland prayed for peace and all together we sang the "Song of Unity" in Korean, English and Hindi. There were almost 100 participants from these religious groups. Additionally, there were around 600 people in the audience, most of whom had come to Rajghat to pay their homage to Gandhi Ji. Altogether 700 people were there.

Our Ambassador for Peace and close friend, Dr. V. Mohini Giri, arranged a candlelight vigil in her hostel with 100 girls for one hour; it was so beautiful that she continued the vigil for three days. Another A.P. and director of our WFWP school project, Mrs. Shivpuri, arranged a candlelight prayer in the school. There were 60 people. Our CARP members and I attended the program. It was at 11 o’clock in the morning of December 22nd. It was very nice to see all the children singing and praying together. Our A.P.s, Brig. Gen. Kapoor and Dr. Kapoor, arranged a prayer with friends in their home.

In Punjab there was a very good program arranged by Mr. Atham Prakash Singh from the "Unity of Man" Ashram. Although he is a Sikh, he arranged a prayer program in a mosque. There were around 100 people. The program started with a prayer by the Imam of the mosque. Mr. Atham Prakash Singh gave a brief explanation about Rev. Moon and his works and he also offered a prayer for peace. All the people were very happy to hear about Rev. Moon and his works.

In Chennai, Shine arranged a candlelight vigil with 50 to 60 participants at the Gandhi Peace Foundation with the assistance of A.P. Prof. Munuswamy.

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