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Interfaith Programs

IAPD-USA Convenes Interfaith Prayer

USA-2022-11-30-Interfaith Prayer for the Nation and the World by IAPD-USA and UPF-USA

USA-IAPD—The devotion of a shared prayer life is a mustard seed of faith that provides results that are beyond expectations, opening hearts and minds and creating loving relationships where nothing existed before.

The first Interfaith Prayer for the Nation and the World began on April 10, 2020, with humanity facing the threat of COVID-19. With the loss of so many lives and the accompanying widespread fear, the pandemic destroyed the fibers that bind our world together. There was an undermining of trust and stability in religious, social, economic and government institutions. From that time, the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) began its Interfaith Prayer programs held every week on Thursday from 1 – 2 pm EST. To see a list of the Interfaith Prayers through the past two and a half years, click here.

The 139th week of the Interfaith Prayer program will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2020, and the 143rd week of the program on December 29 will be the last of this year, 2022.

During the height of the pandemic, we all faced an incredibly challenging time globally. Schools, businesses and many public institutions were forced to close. Most social services and religious programs had to alter or limit their services. Amid the crisis, IAPD began urgently inviting faith leaders to pray together for the people who were dying of the pandemic, for the people who lost loved ones, and for unity for the nation and the world.

The Interfaith Prayer was originally conceived as a means of support for addressing the isolation and fears of faith leaders for their communities over the initial devastation and lack of remedies for the pandemic. The concerns of the prayers and messages expanded to address other pressing issues facing people: violence, racial barriers, the poor, and political discord. Unifying prayers of compassion and hope naturally brought us beyond the effects of a medical crisis and taught us how much more God is required in all aspects of our shared lives.

Abrahamic faith leaders (rabbis, Christian pastors and imams), Buddhist monks and Hindu ministers joined in the prayer.

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the founder of IAPD, believes faith leaders will play a unique and vital role in a time of crisis, ending divisions and hatred, stopping selfish ambitions, and providing wisdom, valuable lessons, understanding, and the love of others.

She reminded us that religions, throughout the ages, have guided us from darkness to light, despite their shortcomings, and provided us with the moral foundation and vision of a good society.

We believe the faith leaders are called by God to the task of bringing people to live harmoniously, as we are created “one family under God.” Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr. says, “People pray to change things. Prayer changes people. People change things.”

For this reason, we invite faith leaders from various denominations to offer their prayers, read their Holy Scriptures, and deliver a message of peace, unity and hope. This has featured representatives of different religious traditions demonstrating their utmost prayers of love and kindness. And these prayers are usually from people who are most aware of and sensitive to the suffering and challenges of their communities, neighborhoods and cities.

People have reported to us that they have benefited greatly from these programs. Through the programs, faith leaders shared the depth of their religion’s faith and traditions that were kept and exercised over thousands of years…

In the expressions of faith, dedication and love toward Jehovah, the Heavenly Father, the Creator, Allah, or whatever they may call God, we found common ground: we are meant to love each other and live as if we are one family under God with hope for the future.

UPF believes that unity among leaders and communities of all faiths is needed in response to challenging times, acts of violence, and other pressing moral issues.

It is essential to strengthen faith, hope and love and to keep appreciating the relationships that unite us as “one family under God.”

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