University of Nevada-Reno urged to provide interfaith chapel


Various religious leaders of northern Nevada have urged University of Nevada-Reno to provide an interfaith chapel on the campus.

In a letter to UNR President Marc Johnson, they wrote: “We are religious leaders of different religions and denominations requesting you to provide an interfaith prayer room/chapel centrally located on the University of Nevada, Reno, campus so that the spiritual needs of students from the diversity of all of our faiths are met. We request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss the interfaith initiative at greater length.”

Signatories on this letter include Thomas Butler, pastor of Sparks United Methodist Church; Sarah Canak, UNR student president of Women’s Federation for World Peace; Stephen Child of American Clergy Leadership Conference; Anthony Hemmert, president of Latter-day Saints Student Association; Gene Savoy Jr., president of Nevada Clergy Association; Sherif A. Elfass, president of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Stefani Schatz, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church; Troy Tisthammer of Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship; Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism; Phil Bryan, priest of Reno Buddhist Center; ElizaBeth W. Beyer, rabbi of Temple Beth Or; Somayya Beekun, president of Muslim Students Association; Bradley S. Corbin, Baha’i teacher; Ellyn Bryans-Darrah, priestess of Children of Temple Earth; Michael K. Bolingbroke, director of Reno Nevada Institute of Religion; Ahmad Saad, president of Graduate Chapter of Muslim Student Association; Nicholas Frey, public affairs representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Master John of Universal Life Church, and others.

Hindu statesman Zed, in a statement in Reno today, urged UNR to respond to the needs of diverse student body and follow pattern of some other universities to provide prayer/meditation room/chapel for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise which would help in their personal growth.

Thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education would be “a step in the right direction” for UNR, Zed added.

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