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Hindu statesman honored by multi-faith clergy in US
In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Northern Nevada clergy belonging to various religions and denominations organized a reception in honor of distinguished interfaith leader and Hindu statesman Rajan Zed in Nevada in the US.

Participants included Christians (various denominations), Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Baha’i, New Age, Pagans, non-believers, etc. Sparks Mayor Geno R. Martini, who presided, garlanded Zed on the occasion. Thakur Chakrapani Singh, well-known classical musician from India, accompanied by tabla players Pete Fairley and David Freeman, entertained with ancient Kachhapi Veena.

Various organizations/leaders sent testimonials to Rajan Zed, which were read on the occasion, and which included: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian K. Krolicki, United States Senator Dean Heller, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Northern Nevada Muslim Community, Reno Buddhist Center, City of Sparks, Reno Police Department Chief Steve Pitts, Green Business Chamber and UNR Interfaith Students Club. Pagan community presented a plate inscribed “Om”, the mystical Hindu syllable containing the universe, to Zed on the occasion.

Speakers, who mostly listed Zed’s interfaith efforts to bring communities together in Nevada-USA-world and spoke about his religious statesmanship; included Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall, Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno Chancellor Brother Matthew Cunningham, Member Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints George M. Keele, President Nevada Clergy Association Right Reverend Gene Savoy Junior, Northern Nevada Muslim Community President Dr. Sherif A. Elfass, Executive Editor of Gannett publication Reno Gazette-Journal Beryl Love, Temple Beth Or Rabbi Elizabeth W. Beyer, Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church Priest Father Stephen Karcher, Reno Police Department Commander Byron Venzon, Reno Freethinkers (group of atheists, agnostics, skeptics, humanists, etc., promoting secular values) representative Jon Eric Johnson, Reno Buddhist Center Assistant Priest Matthew Fisher, Washoe County School District Chief Communications Officer Irene Payne, Baha’i teacher Roya Galata, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People area First Vice President Andrew Barbano, Terri Domitrovich from Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community of Carson City, Green Business Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Asher, Pagan Clergyman Wolf Carnahan, Rehoboth Holy Temple (Church of God in Christ) elder Dr. Terrell Foster, and University of Nevada-Reno Interfaith Students Club President Daniel R. Sanchez.

Reverend Stefani Schatz, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, delivered the invocation on the occasion; while well-known musician Jim Eaglesmith gave the benediction with a fusion multi-faith song.

Attendees also included area leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Dave Challis, Nicholas F. Frey, Craig Dutton and Patricia Meidell; President of United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra Karen Barsell; Seventh Day Adventist Church Pastor Kingsley O. Palmer; Right Reverend Sean Savoy and Robert Petrovich of International Community of Christ; Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno Faith Formation Director Monique Jacobs;  Founder of Church of Inner Light Laura Peppard; Chinese Association of Northern Nevada President Eyleen S. Lau; American Clergy Leadership Conference Northern Nevada Coordinator Reverend Stephen Child; Truckee Goodness Sake Spirituality Center Director Andy Hill; Reno First Congregational Church Congregation President Mike Hill; Dr. David Mitchell of Satyachetna International; Dr. Richard Flyer of Conscious Community; Reverend Hiram Johnson; Episcopal Reverend Michael Slater; Rachelle Pellissier and Sandy Isham of Volunteers of America; Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno Life-Peace-Justice Commission Coordinator Rita Sloan; Lisa A. Rizzoli & Philip Duane Johncock, both Tantra spirituality educators; Toni De Salvo of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd; Paula McDonough of Reno First United Methodist Church; former Judge Jim Van Winkle; State of Nevada Economist Muhammed Quddus; prominent yoga master Rachelle Lanning; community leader Verita Prothro; well known dancer Dr. Martina Young; Zoroastrian Jamshid Jamshidi; etc.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Director Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, was invited to participate in the prestigious “World Economic Forum” in November organized by Geneva (Switzerland) based international organization, which brought together about 500 global and regional business leaders, heads of state and government and ministers, as well as leaders from media, academia and civil society. 

Zed was also accorded a civic reception in a town in northern India in November and he had interfaith dialogue with Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs and others during this trip to India. He has delivered invocations at the 29 city councils and county commissions in California and Nevada in the last few months.

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