At a place called Antietam, 23,000 soldiers died in the bloodiest day of the American Civil War. More than 150 years later, 20 different religious traditions will gather on this battlefield in Maryland, United States as part of the 2012 International Day of Prayer for Peace to share prayers and songs of peace.
The event, involving Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Baha’i is one of the hundreds of ways churches and others in various regions of the world are observing the 21 September as an international day of prayer for peace.
In Davao City, southern Philippines, civic organizations are staging a day-long Peace Fair celebrating six paths to peace, namely: cultivating inner peace, dismantling a culture of war, living with justice and compassion, building intercultural respect and solidarity, promoting human rights and living in harmony with the earth.
The Church of South India is praying for solidarity with the Palestinians, “peace with our earth”, and building relations between Christians, Hindus and Muslims – three issues brought home from the WCC International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in May 2011 in Jamaica.
In Santiago, Chile, a city peace forum is holding an inter-religious service at a church dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.
In Ohio, the Dayton International Peace Museum will celebrate Sept. 21 by burning the mortgage it has now paid off and discussing how to bring “inner peace and outer peace to neighbours and ourselves, our community, and our world”. Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, Jews and Sikhs will take part.
First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Manassas, Virginia, is holding a community interfaith prayer service to seek what the parish calls “divine guidance in the face of international hostility, political confrontation, local intolerance, domestic abuse, teenage bullying and personal struggle”.