Prayer Focus Turns to Peace

May 1, 2007

Author: Jessie Brunne

Source: Daily Pilot

As Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini leads congregants in a prayer for the state government during Thursday's Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council National Day of Prayer breakfast, he will also be thinking of his cousin, who was killed last week in a car bombing in Iraq.

Bringing together community members of a variety of faiths for collective prayer, council organizers said there is much to pray for this year, both on a local and international scale.

"I am going to pray for more wisdom for our political leaders in their numerous challenges, especially the biggest challenge in Iraq," al-Qazwini said. "By creating a climate of harmony and understanding among the followers of various religions, we can bring about peace in our community and also other communities who are suffering the bloodshed and the war."

More than 50 years after President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law, members of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Baha'i and Unitarian Universalist communities — or what the council's executive director Jim de Boom refers to as the Heinz 57 of religions — will participate in the interfaith group's 10th annual gathering.