“Second Annual Inner-Faith Night” of University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on February 23 saw various religious groups coming together in dialogue.
This unity celebration included dialogue among Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Native American, Baha’i, and Atheist traditions. UNR Unity Commission hosted it.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed opened the event with an invocation, reading from ancient Hindu texts Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of the world), Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita. Brother Matthew Cunningham, Chancellor of Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, concluded it with a Catholic prayer.
Participants included Pastor Phil Vana (Protestant), Brother Matthew Cunningham (Roman Catholic), Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi (Muslim), Esteban Castillo (Buddhist), Rabbi Teri Appleby (Jewish), Ben Aleck (Native American spirituality), Dr. Bradley S. Corbin (Baha’i), Joe Ferguson (atheist), Shirley Diaz (UNR Campus Unity Director), and Dr. Carina Black (Northern Nevada International Center). Choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a performance. Audience asked questions to the religious leaders present.
Coordinator of the event, UNR Unity Commissioner Tawheeda Wahabzada, says that Commission plans to continue this annual tradition where students, area clergy belonging to various religions and denominations, and others can come together and seek unity that celebrates diversity.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism and who helped coordinate this event, points out that dialogue brings us mutual enrichment and helps us overcome prejudices passed on to us by previous generations.