PEACE PRAYERS UNITE COMMUNITIES
Leaders of the eight major religions represented on the Leicester Council of Faiths came together at noon yesterday to pray for peace.
About 200 people joined the leaders for a brief ceremony in Town Hall Square. The Rt-Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, introduced representatives of the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Jain, Buddhist and Bahai faiths.
Bishop Tim said: "We have a proud tradition in this city of faith communities working together, particularly at critical times, to show that international events do not undermine our commitment to a peaceful, cohesive city."
Reshwel Singh, of the Guru Amardas Gurdwara, said: "The danger is this war will be seen as a conflict between Muslims and Christians, which it is clearly not.
"Relations between the different communities in Leicester are very good, we live in peace here, and we must work together to ensure that continues."
Hindu community leader Thakersi Morjaria of the Shree Jalaram Prathna Mandir temple,said: "We must not let the good relations we have in Leicester be disturbed by external events."
Faiyazuddin Ahmad, Muslim community leader and one of three council of faiths presidents, said: "We have been working for years to create cohesion - we have our differences but we are all basically human beings."
Sister Prasada of a Buddhist community in Narborough said: "The faiths have stood up today and spoken together."
More than 100 people also gathered in Loughborough to take part in a prayer vigil.
©Copyright 2003, Leicester Mercury (United Kingdom)
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