Leaders of various religions and denominations gathered on December 8 in Reno (Nevada, USA) in memory of Nobel laureate Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 95, who died on December five in Johannesburg.
This multi-faith service, hosted by Reno Buddhist Center, included prayers and reflections by Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, etc., leaders.
Distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed, who coordinated the service, speaking on the occasion, said that with Mandelas death, 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 towards creation of just society and pursuance of social justice, Zed added.
Various 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 Bahai teachers Roya Galata and Mary Jo Adams.
Martina Young performed African prayer dance while Jim Eaglesmith did African healing chant with Djembe drum. Joseph E. Johnson lead 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.