Messages of support
Spiritual leaders and other prominent individuals from around the world who have taken part in SOPP ceremonies have expressed their enthusiasm and support for the event:
The SOPP is a magnificent event for all humanity because everyone from every culture and country in the world is welcome to send prayers of peace. It is the vehicle of networking all mankind to unify in the belief that PEACE can occur on this planet, through the power and energy of peace prayers. I firmly believe that deep within the heart of every human lies an inherent true desire for peace and harmony.
— Dr Jagdish Gandhi (India)
The Symphony of Peace Prayers is one of the most hopeful signs that there might be a shift coming in the consciousness of the world regarding the meaning of war and the alternative of nonviolent resistance. May it be that SOPP can continue to hold that hope for the rest of the world!
— Pastor Don Mackenzie (USA)
With the capacities we have today, we can either destroy the human community and do incredible damage to the Earth and the environment, or we can connect with each other globally and create the shared humanity that we really are meant to be. I think the SOPP definitely has a role to play in creating this kind of shared humanity. If you went to a place where there are two parties that are at war or else perilously close to war, and you said, “Would you all please pray for one another?” you might not be sure of getting the response that you wanted. But if you had people from those two groups of people as part of this ceremony, praying for every single nation in the world, when it came time to pray for each other’s people, how could they not wish the same for them that they wished for all other people?
— The Rev. Canon Dr. Charles P. Gibbs, Founding Executive Director Emeritus, United Religions Initiative (USA)
The civilization that dominates the contemporary world is no longer sustainable; if it is not to break down, it must transform. We need to create a civilization that enables six and a half billion people to live with dignity, in harmony with each other and with nature. This transformation is possible. We have the insights, the technologies, and the necessary human and financial resources. What we still need is the will and the vision. To muster the will and the vision, we must evolve our consciousness. With a more up-to-date consciousness, we could change our values and priorities—change ourselves and ultimately change the world. Deep prayer and meditation are the way each of us can achieve this consciousness-evolution individually, and the way that all of us can achieve it together.
— Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Founder and President of the Club of Budapest (Hungary)
I was so moved by the SOPP, genuinely. It was grace, and it was love made manifest. I felt such celebration in my heart in seeing not only the people on stage, but the community that came together—thousands of people coming together patiently and receiving and celebrating in love our common humanity. If we can do that, then we can find a way through this time of great transition and difficulty in the world, into a world of promise and peace.
— Duane Elgin, Author and Speaker (USA)
The world needs peace even more than before. In several parts of the world and particularly in my own country, Pakistan, peace and reconciliation are very much needed… Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to bring harmony and peace in the world. How nice it would be if such SOPP events were organized more often around the globe throughout the year!
— Fr. Dr. James Channan OP, Regional Coordinator for United Religions Initiative and Director of Lahore Peace Center (Pakistan)
For more than thirty years now, religious groups have engaged in various talks and exchanges. However, in order to truly unite as one, I think that we need to share the religious experience rather than simply discussing it. In that sense, I think the opportunity to offer prayers is very important.
— Tsunekiyo Tanaka, Chief Priest of Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine (Japan)
I join with all of you today and every day praying for peace. I pray that the peace awakening within the hearts of all people find new voice, and I pray that we learn to walk that deep peace into our world. I share with you a vision of a new world, where men and women celebrate their shared humanity by caring for themselves, for each other, and for their world with compassion and with love. May peace prevail on earth. ‘Kein y’hi ratzon’ — so may it be God’s will.
— Rabbi Ted Falcon, Spiritual Guide, Author, Teacher and Therapist (USA)
The Symphony of Peace Prayers is a unique global event that raises consciousness, opens up hearts and minds and gives humanity hope, joy and vision. The SOPP uniquely honors and cherishes every single country in the world. I have been privileged, as a Sufi Muslim, to participate in this program in 2007, 2010, and 2015. I salute the Saionji family and their community for working so compassionately, persistently and tirelessly to create peace, understanding and harmony in our planet.
May Spirit continue to guide them and bless them.
— Jamal Rahman, Co-founder, Interfaith Community Sanctuary in Seattle (USA)