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A 'Season of Prayer' that the Mid East truce may hold:
an online opportunity from the NCC's Interfaith ministry

New York, August 15, 2006 The uneasy truce between Hezbollah and Israel is holding, but most observers believe it will take more than human will to preserve the peace.

Prayer is an essential ingredient for peace, and the National Council of Churches USA and Religions for Peace-USA are encouraging religious communities to engage in prayers for peace.

“We are encouraging religious communities to pray for peace as they gather in their own communities. We are also encouraging religious communities to join with others in common events of witness for peace,” said Rev. Bud Heckman, Executive Director of Religions for Peace USA.

Thousands of people of faith have already visited the Web site launched last month by the NCC's Interfaith ministry www.seasonofprayer.org. The website compiles prayers, litanies, scripture texts, hymns, poems and other prayer aids from many religious traditions, appropriate to the current crisis in the Middle East.

“Religious communities are good at praying for the suffering of our own,” said NCC's associate general secretary for Interfaith Relations, Dr. Shanta Premawardhana. “But the best in our religious traditions call us to pray for the suffering ‘other’ and that’s what we are asking our religious communities to do.

Religious leaders of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities have currently signed on to this initiative. They have agreed to encourage their religious communities to participate and send in prayer resources from their communities that might be posted on the site.

Contact NCC News: Rev. Daniel Webster, 212-870-2252 (dwebster@councilofchurches.org)

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