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Northern Nevada religious leaders jointly celebrate Mandela



multi-faith-service-for-mandela-570x305-8735779-9041394Leaders of various religions and denominations gathered yesterday in Reno in memory of Nobel laureate Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 95, who died on Dec. 5 in Johannesburg.

This multi-faith service, hosted by the Reno Buddhist Center, included prayers and reflections by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and other religious leaders.

Rajan Zed, who coordinated the service, said during the service that with Mandela’s death the world had lost someone unique and brave, whose vision of humanity embraced all peoples and who set a milestone for the world with his efforts in pluralism, common ground, equality, color-blindness and coexistence. Mandela, who symbolized the victory of the human spirit, made huge contributions toward the creation of a just society and pursuance of social justice, Zed added.

Speakers at the service included Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno Bishop Randolph R. Calvo, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Quorum of the Seventy Member George Marion Keele, Abdulrahim Barghouthi of Northern Nevada Muslim Community (NNMC), Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed, Matthew Fisher & Shelley Fisher of Reno Buddhist Center, Jewish Temple Sinai Rabbi Ethan Bair, Congregational Church of Reno Pastor Richard L. Smith, Trinity Episcopal Church Associate for Parish Life Rick Millsap, William John Wynn II of International Church Fellowship and Baha’i teachers Roya Galata and Mary Jo Adams.

Martina Young performed an African prayer dance, and Jim Eaglesmith did an African healing chant with the Djembe drum. Joseph E. Johnson led “The Johnson Family” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in singing “Nearer my God to Thee.”

Meryl Wynn of International Church Fellowship, who is related to Mandela, spoke about her personal experiences with him. Sherif A. Elfass, NNMC president, was also present.

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