14 Oct : Various religions and denominations came together in Nevada (USA) on Sunday to honor peace icon Mahatma Gandhi, pray for world peace, and celebrate human spiritual rights.
Organized jointly by Gandhi Monument Council and Advocates for Religious Rights & Freedoms at the International Community of Christ World Headquarters in Reno, this peace celebration united Christians (various denominations), Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais; including some from Japan, Minnesota, California, etc.
Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., President of Advocates for Religious Rights & Freedoms, in his keynote address, said that all members of the human race were members of the same family, regardless of social or national origins, and had no right to cause physical, mental or spiritual harm to another by any means whatsoever, for such was against the will of God and the conscience of man as a spiritual being.
Standing next to a huge handmade portrait of Gandhi and lauding him as one of the greatest moral and political leaders of twentieth century, Gene Savoy talked about Gandhi’s spiritual treatment of politics and his theories of non-violent action and active citizenship. Savoy said that this "peace festival" to honor Gandhi would become an annual feature bringing various religions and denominations together in Nevada.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader and president of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited the peace prayers in Sanskrit from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world dated around 1,500 BCE; Brahadaranyakopanisad, and Bhagavad-Gita, both ancient Hindu scriptures. Dialogue brings us mutual enrichment and helps us overcome the prejudices handed down to us, Rajan Zed stressed.
Starting with Gandhi’s favorite song "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram", prayers were read on the occasion by Buddhist priest Rev. William Bartlett, Bishop Paul Clemens of Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch—Malabar Rite, Rev. Sean Savoy of International Community of Christ, Roya Galata of Bahai faith, Roman Catholic Fr. George Wolf, and Rev. Yukinori Matsushita of Japan. Rev. Robert Petrovich welcomed the participants while Rev. Gary Buchanan directed the music.