2020 Fuji SOPP
Connected in spirit across the globe
For the past 15 years, the Symphony of Peace Prayers (SOPP) has brought together thousands of people from across Japan and around the world at the large outdoor prayer field at Fuji Sanctuary. As everyone prays together for peace with one heart and one voice, a powerful wave of prayer energy flows forth from Fuji Sanctuary out to the whole world. And since 2008, SOPP gatherings large and small have taken place year after year on every continent, adding the prayers of thousands more peace-loving people to this global wave. This simple act of people coming together to share in prayers for peace and interfaith harmony is at the foundation of the SOPP.
In 2020, however, the new coronavirus unleashed a global pandemic that has upended much of what human beings take for granted. This year, the simple act of many people gathering together in close proximity was recognized as a high-risk undertaking, and thus, in early February, host organization Byakko Shinko Kai proactively decided to suspend all physical gatherings at Fuji Sanctuary for as long as necessary.
Thankfully, the internet and other modern technologies have given us tools to help keep the world connected even when we are physically apart. This year’s SOPP took advantage of these technologies, with Byakko Shinko Kai preparing a video presentation that was streamed live on YouTube on May 17th. Participants all around the world—including those who would normally be organizing or taking part in local gatherings—were invited to tune in to the live broadcast and join in prayers from home. Program booklets in PDF format were prepared in both Japanese and English, for participants to download and refer to during the ceremony.
The video presentation—a mixture of live and prerecorded elements—included all the major components of recent SOPP ceremonies at Fuji Sanctuary, including Praying with the Religions of the World, Prayers for Peace in Each Country, a presentation on the Fuji Declaration, and a prayer of Gratitude to Nature as well as special greetings from the chairperson, vice-chairs, and directors of Byakko Shinko Kai. In addition, messages and songs from Mr. Nimo Patel and Mr. James Twyman (musical guests at the 2018 and 2016 SOPP, respectively) were shared with the viewers.
Separately from Fuji Sanctuary’s video broadcast, a number of online SOPP programs were held using video conferencing software—three separate events based in Italy, and one in France—while other people connected by offering prayers at home.
For our detailed account of the 2020 Symphony of Peace Prayers, please click on the links at left. The recorded broadcast from Fuji Sanctuary can be viewed on our SOPP 2020 page.
For SOPP events outside Japan, please visit the International Events pages.