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Religious leaders share platform at UNR



The second annual “Inner-Faith Night” at the University of Nevada, Reno on yesterday saw various area faith leaders coming together in dialogue.

This unity celebration included dialogue among Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Native American, Baha’i and atheist traditions. Their leaders explained the beliefs of their respective traditions and answered questions from the audience. Te UNR Unity Commission hosted the event.

Hindu leader Rajan Zed opened the event with an invocation, reading from ancient Hindu texts Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of the world), Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita. Brother Matthew Cunningham, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, concluded it with a Catholic prayer.

Other participants included Pastor Phil Vana (Protestant), Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi (Muslim), Esteban Castillo (Buddhist), Rabbi Teri Appleby (Jewish), Ben Aleck (Native American spirituality), Dr. Bradley S. Corbin (Baha’i), Joe Ferguson (atheist), Shirley Diaz (UNR Campus Unity Director) and Dr. Carina Black (Northern Nevada International Center). The choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a performance.

The coordinator of the event, UNR Unity Commissioner Tawheeda Wahabzada, says the commission plans to continue this annual tradition where students, area clergy belonging to various religions and denominations, and others can come together and seek unity that celebrates diversity.

Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism and who helped coordinate this event, points out that dialogue brings us mutual enrichment and helps us overcome prejudices passed on to us by previous generations.

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