2021 Fuji SOPP
Divinity beyond borders
For the seventeenth consecutive year, the Symphony of Peace Prayers (SOPP) connected the hearts and prayers of people around the globe in their earnest wish for the peace and harmony of humanity and all life on earth.
The main celebration took place on May 16, 2021, via a video presentation broadcast live from Fuji Sanctuary in Shizuoka, Japan. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held online for the second year in a row. While the energy created by having thousands of people gather in person is dearly missed, holding the event online does enable people in all corners of the world to take part and join in offering prayers for peace.
This year’s video presentation included the SOPP’s core programs—prayers from six faith traditions, prayers for peace in each country and region on earth, a prayer of Gratitude for All Life, an introduction of the Divine Spark IN, and a presentation on the Fuji Declaration—and also made use of the online format to feature musical performances and beautiful video montages with music and words of poetry or prayer. Program booklets in PDF format were prepared in both Japanese and English, which participants could download in order to join in the various prayers.
In addition to the main ceremony live-streamed from Fuji Sanctuary, a number of smaller gatherings took place around the world, either online or in person, if allowed by local guidelines.
Below, we begin with special messages from the leadership of Byakko Shinko Kai, host organization of the SOPP, as included in this year’s program booklet. A detailed account of the online event follows. The recorded broadcast from Fuji Sanctuary can be viewed on the SOPP 2021 page.
For our detailed account of the 2020 Symphony of Peace Prayers, please click on the links at left. For SOPP events outside Japan, please visit the International Events pages.
Special Message from the Chairperson
Thanks to all of you, the 17th Symphony of Peace Prayers (SOPP) will be held again this year. As in last year’s ceremony, all programs will be transmitted online from Fuji Sanctuary.
Last year, I mentioned that Covid-19 gives us the realization that we are all one family. Now it is time for each of us to transform our mindset of protecting only ourselves into one where we think and act for the good of others while protecting ourselves at the same time. Each and every one of us must reawaken our innate spirit of altruism. This reawakening of the human consciousness is essential if we are to enter our next evolutionary stage—the age of the rebirth of our divine spark.
It is precisely because we are in this moment of transition that leaders from various religions are giving us timely words and prayers. I myself have learned many things from the words and prayers offered by these superlative religious and spiritual leaders in past SOPP ceremonies. As we thank one another and praise one another’s prayers, works, and teachings, our hearts merge into one through prayer. This is a great manifestation of divine love and a moment when our original divine essence is revealed, shining through one another.
I can’t tell you how deeply moved I was each year to see the participants praying so earnestly under the guidance of each prayer leader. I have seen the resonance of their sincere prayers turn into a light and power that illuminates the future.
And so, what a joy it will be if many more people can participate in the SOPP again this year, connecting with one another and praying together for a mutually shared peace that transcends all borders of nationality, culture and ethnicity, and religious affiliation.
What should each one of us do in the midst of the challenges that all humanity is facing now, at the same time? It is to calm our hearts and stand still within the noise, and to send love to the world, to humanity, and the earth. It is to listen carefully and hear the prayers of all living beings.
Prayer is what embraces and revives life on earth, humanity, and all living things. At the same time, it is through prayer that the wonderful energy and power inherent in us are released.
In the midst of all the suffering and anxiety, we must look not to the outside, but within us. Now is the time for the power of each individual prayer to burnish our inner, divine essence and let it shine forth. Humanity needs the opportunity to come in touch with the great, silent power that is at work in the act of prayer.
To this end, I would like to ask for the help of the wonderful religious and spiritual leaders in the world in echoing the prayer for peace throughout the planet this year. I would be most grateful if you could join me in delivering prayers for peace and prayers of thanksgiving to all life on earth.
Nowadays, many things are changing in form. The times are changing, cultures are changing, and the common assumptions that we used to hold are changing in every way. From this time forward, what will we believe and what will we choose? In the end, it is up to each and every one of us to decide.
What, then, will be the criteria for each person’s decision? When we make such decisions, we need to connect with the divine essence that solemnly exists deep within us, rather than being swayed by the opinions of those in positions of authority. To do this, we need to draw out the love, intuition, and wisdom that are inherent in us through prayer. This is our chance to do so.
I would like to connect with people all over the world this year, and together we will make this a wonderful SOPP. Thank you for your support.
Chairperson, Byakko Shinko Kai
Message from the Deputy Chairperson and Vice Chairs
This year’s SOPP, like last year’s, will again be held online. Last year, due to the effects of Covid-19, many people all over the world joined us through the Internet.
Although we were not able to pray together in one place, at Fuji Sanctuary, we feel sure that people all over Japan and the world prayed at the same time in their own places, and their prayers turned into energy that enveloped the earth.
We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the many people who were unable to access the Internet, but were able to pick up a pamphlet at home and offer their prayers. Your precious prayers are so important, and are really needed all over the world. It is a relief to be able to connect with you and offer our prayers at this time, when we feel the chaos of the world and the cries of Mother Earth.
This year’s SOPP will be the same as last year’s, and we will pray with you through images and music. We and the staff have planned this event together so that we can pray for the world’s needs with all our hearts and make it a time full of love. We are sure that even if you are not at Fuji Sanctuary, you will be able to concentrate on each prayer and feel the vibrations of Fuji Sanctuary.
In the midst of many people’s anxiety over the future, we hope and pray for the existence of those who can find the strength to feel the love that exists alongside the anxiety. When many people do not know what to do in this present situation, we hope and pray for the existence of those who will draw forth the power to pray for peace from the bottom of their souls. Even in the midst of emotional turmoil, we hope and pray for the existence of those who can find the power to keep a steadfast heart. This world sorely needs people who can shine light in the midst of darkness.
We believe that those who are aware of and connected with their own divinity are the ones who can exercise these powers. That’s who you are!
We hope that as our prayers come together from all over the world, the energy of love will reach those who are anxious, and the energy of prayer will resonate with those who don’t know what to do. Those whose hearts are shaken will become aware of the steadfastness in their own hearts, and as many lights as possible will shine in the darkness. We hope that this will bring more light into the darkness. There is a great power in collective prayer.
The SOPP is a place where, regardless of their religious affiliation, everyone who shares the same desire for peace can connect and pray for each other. With happy anticipation we look forward to praying with you all again this year, across space and time. Thank you all for your support.
Yuka Saionji, Maki Saionji, and Rika Saionji
Deputy Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons of Byakko Shinko Kai