Masami Saionji, Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai
Distinguished Guests and Friends, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many participants who have gathered here today from various locations around Japan and the world.
On February 14th of this year, the Symphony of Peace Prayers and the World Peace Prayer Ceremony was presented at an event titled ‘United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony,’ which was held at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. The event was co-sponsored by the President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, UNESCO, and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, with the support of various UN Missions and numerous NGO coalitions.
As a result of the powerful current that has resonated out to the world with each SOPP over the years, the prayer program was welcomed open-heartedly as an adjunct event of World Interfaith Harmony Week. On the day of the event, all participants were embraced in a circle of joy and inspiration as the program ended with great success and accomplishments.
We owe this success to our supporters worldwide—to the performers, speakers and guests who have participated in SOPP ceremonies held at Fuji Sanctuary and in other locations around the world over the years. The success of the SOPP is due to the Byakko prayer colleagues, who have been offering ceaseless prayers from their hearts at this open air sanctuary, regardless of rain, storm, snow, heat or cold. It is because of your deep-rooted wishes and your dedication to uplifting humanity that the SOPP has been a success. I thank all of you for your continuous support.
Such accomplishments cannot be attained by the power of one person alone. It is when the circle of participants grows in number from one to two, from two to three, to four, to ten, and to hundreds that a powerful shift takes place. It is when a large number of prayer colleagues unite in purpose under a shared vision, to engage in simultaneous prayers at the same time and location, that we can transform the impossible and give birth to new possibilities. Such are the benefits of the energy field of prayer created by the SOPP.
When we commune as we are today to offer interfaith prayers of various faith traditions with united hearts, the negative thought forms and karma that encircle the world—negative energies such as anger, jealousy, struggle, conflict, discrimination, doubt, confusion and resentment—are embraced in the energies of love and mercy. The negative emotional thoughts vanish in the energy field of light.
I am filled with joy and encouragement to learn that this year prayer gatherings are being organized in over 100 locations in nearly 60 countries. The SOPP will surely spread throughout the world in the years to come, contributing more and more to the manifestation of true peace on earth.
In the year 2015, we are planning to invite conscious-minded politicians, economists, educators, doctors, and spiritual leaders to dismantle walls of separation and engage in heartfelt dialogue for the purpose of establishing a charter for the rebirth of divine consciousness for the benefit of all humanity.
The SOPP creates a vortex of light, sending forth radiant waves from Fuji San
ctuary out to the world. I pray and hope that these waves will finally embrace the world, encouraging the manifestation of global peace and the coming of a world brimming with hope.
We look forward to your continued support in the years to come. May peace prevail on Earth. Thank you very much.
Following Mrs. Saionji’s remarks, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative for Africa and head of the URI’s Interfaith Peace-building Initiative, presented Byakko Shinko Kai with a peace medal from the URI in recognition of its outstanding efforts in promoting a culture of peace.
Ambassador Mussie Hailu: As we are praying together for peace to prevail in the world, it is my great honor and privilege to present the African Peace Medal to Byakko Shinko Kai, the World Peace Prayer Society, and the Goi Peace Foundation, and all the supporters and volunteers who have been working on a daily basis for many years to promote a culture of peace, regardless of differences in culture, religion, or geographical location through the universal peace prayer ‘May peace prevail on Earth,’ and also for your hard work in reverence to all forms of life and to protect Mother Earth.
In past years, this peace medal has been given to individuals, leaders, and organizations who are doing outstanding work in promoting peace, harmony, and peaceful coexistence. It was given to the United Nations, UNESCO, Desmond Tutu, and many other great leaders and organizations. Today, we are going to present this peace medal to Byakko Shinko Kai—to all of you who have been praying for peace, not only in your family, not only in your country, but for the peace of the world. It is a great honor to be presenting this to each and every one of you, and I would like to call upon Mrs. Masami Saionji to receive this peace medal on your behalf.
Once again, because of your hard work, the world is changing into a better place, and a new wind of hope is blowing in the world for this generation and generations yet to come. Please keep up your outstanding work. We appreciate what you are doing, and we are with you in this effort to create a better future for all and for Mother Earth.
Ambassador Hailu then placed the medal around Mrs. Saionji’s neck and shook hands with her warmly.
Masami Saionji: This medal has been presented to all of you who have worked hard to create peace on earth. I have received it on behalf of all of you. I cannot do this work alone. The work that all of you have accomplished together resulted in our being awarded this peace medal, so I thank all of you.