BR religious groups pray for peace
The event at the International Cultural Center at LSU was part of the fifth annual World Peace Day observances that began in the state in 1998 with a resolution signed by Gov. Mike Foster.
The observance, held in a small chapel at the center, was a prelude to the official festivities Tuesday at the State Capitol Rotunda and Senate chambers.
"The purpose of World Peace Day is to create in the minds of people in Louisiana, and around the world, love and respect for one another," said Rama C. Mohanty, organizer and founder of World Peace Day.
The group read and chanted prayers for peace and unity in various languages.
Rabbi Barry Weinstein of B'nai Israel Temple greeted the group with a single word, "Shalom."
"Shalom doesn't just mean peace. It means no more violence. It means no more distress. It is the end of racism, prejudice, and enmity. It is the end of poverty and corruption and is the building of world peace."
The Rev. Michael Buckman, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, represented the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. Buckman told the group, "It may take thousands of years, but there will be no peace until we decide to sit down and talk to one another."
He asked the group to consider its definition of peace. "It's unfortunate we believe peace can be obtained through the power of a gun. No peace can be obtained through a gun. The Bible says Jesus is our peace," he said.
Participants included representatives from Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Baha'i faith, and Christianity, both Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths.
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