Bahai News -- UNION-TRIBUNE - Weekly interfaith prayer services to begin tonight

Weekly interfaith prayer services to begin tonight

By Sandi Dolbee

March 25, 2003

The first of a series of weekly interfaith prayer services around the county dealing with the impact of the war in Iraq will be held tonight.

"Our focus is on being a comforting, consoling presence to people who are grieving or feeling fearful and confused and anxious about the war and not to be making any political statements about the efficacy of the war itself," said Rosemary Johnston, a spokeswoman for an ad hoc group of local faith leaders who met yesterday to plan the services.

Today's gathering begins at 6:15 p.m. at the Islamic Center of San Diego, 7050 Eckstrom Ave., in Clairemont. Next Tuesday, the service will be at 7 p.m. at Community Congregational Church, 276 F St., in Chula Vista.

Yesterday's planning meeting included an informal service, in which representatives of Christian, Bahai, Muslim and Jewish religions offered prayers for peace, healing and unity.

"We have to come together as people of faith to respect each other," said Roland Slade, a Southern Baptist minister.

Muslim Imam Sharif Battikhi told the 12 others who were there that God created people to love one another, not wage war. "We should ask the people of faith to pray to God for all the victims," he said.

For more information, contact the Interfaith Shelter Network at (619) 702-5399; the National Conference for Community and Justice at (619) 521-2906; or the American Islamic Services Foundation at (858) 279-1994.

©Copyright 2003, San Diego Union-Tribune (CA, USA)

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