Large congregation attend special mass, prayers for peace
In doing so, Christians in Seychelles joined millions others around the world for similar events, in line with Pope John Paul's global appeal for people to come together and pray for an end to all forms of violence.
The Pope himself brought the world's religions together Thursday 24th in Assisi, Italy, to pray for much-needed peace and vow never to support conflict in God's name. This gathering, the third to be organised by the Pope during his 23-year pontificate, comes in the wake of fighting and violence in Kashmir, Afghanistan and various parts of Africa.
During this ceremony, representatives of local religious groups not only denounced conflict, murder and violence now so common around the globe, but in the context of Seychelles, also called for peace as well as understanding in homes and communities.
It was their shared longing, they said, to see a world of greater justice and solidarity where peace, not hate, was the way forward.
At the same time, they also prayed for better relations between the different faiths.
Each religious group had to present a prayer or short reading to express the common desire for peace, justice and refusal of violence. Each prayer was followed by a well-known hymn.
The mass started with popular gospel song Make me a channel of your peace and ended with the hopeful line of .All we are saying is give peace a chance. as religious leaders and members shook hands as a sign of peace.
The various denominations represented during the mass were Roman Catholic Mission, Anglican Church, Pentecostal Assembly, Hinduism, Bahai Faith and Islamic Society. Some others presented their apologies for not attending as they had other meetings planned for the day.
The Government of Seychelles was represented at the gathering by several ministers.
©Copyright 2002, The Seychelles Nation Newspaper