2011 Fuji SOPP
Sunday, May 22, 2011 marked the seventh annual Symphony of Peace Prayers (SOPP), a global event to transcend religious boundaries and send out prayers for the peace and happiness of all humanity.
At Fuji Sanctuary in Shizuoka, Japan, the home of the SOPP, over 5,500 people and more than 40 distinguished prayer leaders and guests gathered in the outdoor Prayer Field. Their numbers were combined with thousands more peace-loving people around the world who organized and participated in local SOPP ceremonies and prayer and meditation gatherings in over 50 countries, through the Global Link network and the Global Peace Meditation and Prayer Day event. Reports from some of these overseas gatherings begin on page 41.
This year’s Symphony of Peace Prayers came on the heels of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, resulting in widespread devastation, loss of life, and a radioactive leak at a nuclear power plant. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the power plant accident, invitations to overseas prayer leaders and guests were regretfully suspended. The disaster, however, highlighted the need for collective prayers for peace, and so the 2011 SOPP at Fuji Sanctuary took on a special mission to spark the emergence of a more harmonious, environmentally conscious Japan that would play a leading role in guiding the world to peace.
The skies were overcast, but the rain held off at Fuji Sanctuary as the ceremony began at 10 am, with welcoming addresses from Byakko President Tomohiko Naya and Chairperson Masami Saionji.