Invoking Interfaith Harmony in a World in Distress: Peace Prayer at Namedy Castle

On July 12, 2015, Princess Heide of Hohenzollern once again enchanted us with her graciousness and generosity: again she opened her castle and wonderful garden to us and the public at large, as in past years.

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The afternoon started with an interfaith peace prayer, which I had the pleasure to participate in representing Islam, as part of our DMLBonn and URI Germany CCs.

The prayer took place underneath a big tree on the lawn, a wonderful place, which in itself radiates peace. It brought together Jewish, Buddhist, Christian - Catholic and Anglican -, and Muslim representatives. And: for the first time this year a Yezidi lady was also present who introduced the Yezidi faith and recited a Yezidi prayer.

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One after the other, we shared our contributions from the treasures of our traditions, humanity’s heritage. Being all together in this special place in nature radiated peace to me. As we were all sharing our intentions for interfaith harmony, my mind, of course, also wandered to the various places worldwide, where war and distress are a daily reality. – But here we were, bringing once again into presence, that people of faith can come together and live together in harmony, even more: that this is the natural way.

In fact, as Princess Heide remarked, over the past years the interfaith peace prayer had grown and attracted more and more people each time.  Very important for its success and the overall atmosphere was the band of young musicians who played and sang beautiful songs between the various contributions.

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The prayer opened a day of summer celebration in the wonderful park of Namedy castle: music, snacks, enjoyment and encounters followed – and art: during the week before the event Princess Heide had hosted artists in the castle to stay with her for a week in order to create pieces of art in the ample park. A painting and photo exhibition and a lady telling fairy tales entertained and educated visitors.

One more time, at the end of the day, our vision and inner store of interfaith harmony, beauty and generosity was refreshed and expanded. Its ripples will continue to spread throughout the year.