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New Year welcomed with multi-faith prayers

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, various religions got together in Reno to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year atmidnight in a unique and divine manner, away from the glitter of the casinos and sending a message of unity to the world.


Coordinated by religious statesman Rajan Zed, standing room only “Multi-faith New Year’s Eve Service” hosted by Reno Buddhist Center included Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and Native American prayers. 

Religious leaders who prayed included United Church of Christ pastor James Kosko, Abdul Raheem Barghouti of Muslim community, Buddhist priests Matthew T. Fisher and Shelley L. Fisher, Jewish rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Monique Jacobs of Roman Catholic Diocese, Baha’i teacher Kaitie R. Lighthart and American Indian spirituality scholar Brian E. Melendez. In addition, Taiko drumming ensemble Tsurunokai Taiko directed by Rieko Shimbo delivered Japanese festival piece Chichibu Yatai-bayashi; Jim R. Eaglesmith sang multi-faith musical medley; Spirit Singers headed by Leslie Alice Fudge performed “Dona Nobis Pacem”; while Laurie Martin lead a team of drummers.

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