Bahai News - Peace Bell event more significant Sept. 11 aftermath stresses unity goal

Peace Bell event more significant Sept. 11 aftermath stresses unity goal

When organizers decided to hold an interfaith service at the World Peace Bell three years ago, they had no idea that one day the event would be so significant.

But after Sept. 11, the message of the annual New Year's Eve event, which stresses the importance of understanding and acceptance of the world's many religions, is more important than ever.

For that reason, organizers this year have partnered with the Brueggeman Center for Interreligious Dialogue at Xavier University in hopes of drawing a more diverse group of people.

"At this moment when praying for peace has new meaning for all of us, our real hope is that all of us in Greater Cincinnati will use this opportunity to join together and pray," said Cynthia Goodman, an event organizer. "Hopefully, we'll be building a more harmonious future for all of us."

With its most diverse contingent to date, the event now will feature practitioners from 10 religions: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, Sikhs, Jains, Baha'is and Quakers.

Ms. Goodman said the event is the culmination of a year's worth of effort on the part of the Interfaith Peace Committee, a group composed of representatives from various religious organizations who have worked to expand the group's base.

This year saw Quakers added to the mix.

In addition to prayer, the service features speakers, music, dance and other forms of worship. Organizers encourage parents to bring children so they might gain a sense of openness toward religions different from their own.

The service will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Syndicate Ballroom, 18 East 5th St., across the street from the World Peace Bell Exhibit Center. Doors open at 2 p.m. and admission is free.

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Program details

The 3rd Annual Interfaith Service for World Peace run from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve at The Syndicate, across from the World Peace Bell in Newport. The program will include:

A procession of religious and civic leaders.

Baha'i Youth Workshop.

World Peace Bell Interfaith Youth Choir.

North American Indian Council shawl dance and singing.

Buddhist Monks chanting.

Hindu chorus.

Jain and liturgical dancers.

Ringing and swinging of the World Peace Bell.

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