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NCC prayer site is visited 88,000 times
since it was launched two weeks ago

New York City, August 22, 2006 – While nations parse words and actions around a Middle East cease-fire, people of many faiths have been drawing on a new resource to focus the power of prayer on a "holy land" that birthed three major world religions.  As the region was wracked with senseless violence and bloodshed, people of faith quickly turned to seasonofprayer.org as part of their agenda for waging peace.   

The website seasonofprayer.org has been viewed 88,000 times since it was launched two weeks ago.  The project is a ministry of the National Council of Churches USA's Interfaith Relations.  The site’s homepage contains an invitation to prayer from several faith leaders including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the NCC. 

"One of the points in our July 14 statement calling for an immediate cease-fire was calling on our member churches and people the world over to pray for those caught up in the horrible violence that had just broken out in Lebanon and Israel," said the Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, NCC’s associate general secretary for Interfaith Relations. 

More than 125 prayers were submitted by contributors from around the world.  The site became a place for people of many faiths to add their favorite prayers for peace. 

“Clergy and prayer leaders also found the site a valuable resource for prayer services, especially interfaith gatherings,” said Dr. Premawardhana. 

One prayer submitted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center, Philadelphia, concludes, “You who make harmony in the ultimate reaches of the universe, teach us to make harmony within ourselves, among ourselves --and peace for the Godwrestling folk, the people Israel; for our cousins the children of Ishmael; and for all who dwell upon this planet.” 

Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general, Islamic Society of North America, posted an Islamic Prayer for Peace which says in part, “O our Sustainer! Grant us the life of true peace and enter us into the abode of Peace.”  

Prayers have also been posted from Christian, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, and non-sectarian religious traditions.  The site continues to be visited daily as prayerful people turn their energies and hopes for a lasting truce and a long term peaceful solution for the Mideast.  The region is far from being stable and prayers for justice and nonviolence are in the hearts and minds of many.


NCC News contact: Dan Webster, 212.870.2252, dwebster@councilofchurches.org

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