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“Prayer for Peace” was the title of the World Interfaith Harmony Week program that took place in the largest mosque in Oslo.
A panel discussion among the speakers
Syed Nehmat Ali Shah, head imam of the mosque Central Jamaat E Ahle Sunnat (left), lights “a candle for peace,” along with Yuhashinee Shankkar (Hinduism) (only her hand is visible), Livleen Kauur (Sikhism), Rev. Hanna Barth Hake (Church of Norway), Steinar Murud (Unificationism), Egil Lothe (Buddhism), Martin Auraha (Assyrian Ninive Association) and Zaeem Shaukat (Minhaj-ul-Quran).
“A candle for peace,” lit by (left to right): Yuhashinee Shankkar (Hinduism), Livleen Kauur (Sikhism), Rev. Hanna Barth Hake (Church of Norway), Steinar Murud (Unificationism), Egil Lothe (Buddhism), Martin Auraha (Assyrian Ninive Association) and Zaeem Shaukat (Minhaj-ul-Quran).
Steinar Murud, the secretary general of UPF-Norway (left), with the head imam Syed Nehmat Ali Shah of the mosque Central Jamaat E Ahle Sunnat

Oslo, Norway—In cooperation with the largest mosque in Norway, UPF organized an interfaith program with the title “Prayer for Peace.”

The program took place on February 9, 2023, in honor of World Interfaith Harmony Week, and was held in the Central Jamaat E Ahle Sunnat mosque. A total of 21 people participated.

Our world is suffering from conflicts and crisis, and it is hard to find the solution and to predict the outcome. Where human expertise falls short, prayer can open new doors to peace. All people of faith share this belief that prayer can bring surprising solutions in situations that look impossible.

At the meeting on February 9, representatives from Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds offered their understanding of how prayer works. What is a prayer? How will prayers be answered? What does it take for a prayer to be answered? These were some of the questions that were discussed.

Even though the participants represent different faiths, our different understandings about prayer overlap. We all live in the same reality, even though our religions might emphasize different perspectives of it.

Finally, our meeting was not meant to be a regular prayer meeting, but in the end we all joined hands in lighting a candle for peace.

Photographs by Ole Toresen

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