The SOPP at Mount Fuji

Set in the foothills of majestic Mount Fuji in Japan, Fuji Sanctuary is the birthplace and global home of the Symphony of Peace Prayers.

Each year since the ceremony began in 2005, as many as 10,000 participants, including distinguished spiritual leaders and many guests of honor, have gathered in Fuji Sanctuary’s outdoor Prayer Field to pray together for the peace and happiness of humanity, to celebrate harmony among religions and cultures, and to urge a transformation in human consciousness.

SOPP-at-Mount-FujiIn good weather, a snow-capped Mount Fuji is visible from the Prayer Field

To begin, participants are welcomed by Mrs. Masami Saionji, globally acclaimed author, spiritual leader, and chairperson of host organization Byakko Shinko Kai. Then, for the first part of the program, a group of prominent religious and spiritual leaders from Japan and abroad are introduced on stage to address participants and lead them in a prayer for peace. Among the many prayer leaders Fuji Sanctuary has welcomed in past years are:

The Rev. Canon Dr. Charles P. Gibbs, Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative

Dr. Bawa Jain, Secretary-General of the World Council of Religious Leaders of the Milennium World Peace Summit

Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad, Grand Imam of Badshahi Mosque in Pakistan

Fr. Dr. James Channan, OP, Director of Lahore Peace Center; Regional Coordinator for URI (Pakistan)

Rabbi Antonio Di Gesu, Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Japan

Mother Mangalam, interfaith spiritual leader from Malaysia

Bibi Guru Inder Kaur and Hari Ji, Co-founders and Directors of Yoga Dharma Community (Italy)

At many ceremonies, selected guests of honor are invited to address participants with messages of peace. In 2012, Mr. Katsuhito Funai, President of Funaihonsha, spoke about the change in consciousness that is needed in today’s world, and the role of religion and prayer in bringing about peace. Mr. Tetsu Shiratori, a film director, spoke about his experience overcoming brain cancer through prayer and meditation, and he invited participants to join in a prayer for the earth to forgive humanity.

Following this, flag bearers ceremoniously enter the Prayer Field carrying the national flags and an Earth flag representing ‘all the other regions of the world.’ As the flags are presented one by one on stage, participants pray for peace in the official language(s) of each nation, with the heartfelt wish that all humanity can live in peace and harmony even one day sooner.

SOPP-at-Mount-FujiFlag bearers in the Prayer Field at Fuji Sanctuary

Past ceremonies have also included a Global Peace Meditation, a musical performance, and/or a reading of a poem. In recent years, participants have been invited to join in reciting the following poem:

Creation of the Universe
When we quiet our mind and pray,
we feel the prayerful life of all living things.
Our prayers become the energy of love and healing,
embracing the Earth, humanity,
and all living things, and bringing all back to life.
The creation of a new planet Earth begins.
Even when human beings forget to pray,
the earth, the seas, the mountains, and all living things
go on praying for the time when humanity will awaken.
When we quiet our mind and pray,
we feel the prayerful life of all living things.
Our prayers become light,
illuminating the divinity in each and every human being.
At that time, the Earth, humanity,
all life and all living things become one,
and a new symphony of life resonates with the Universe.

To close the ceremony, the national flag bearers once again spread throughout the Prayer Field, filling the sanctuary and the hearts of participants with vibrations of peace, harmony, and oneness.

The 2015 SOPP at Fuji Sanctuary was a very special event that also celebrated the official inauguration of the Fuji Declaration. Read more about this ceremony on the SOPP 2015 page.

Support from far and wide

Each year, friends of the SOPP send messages of support from all around the world to the ceremony at Fuji Sanctuary. These inspiring and encouraging messages are printed in the program booklet to share with all participants. You can read some of these messages on our website here.

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