Northern Nevada religious leaders discuss How to get along

Area Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, atheist and other leaders got together on December 21 in Reno (Nevada, USA) to have a dialogue/discussion on "How can we get along despite our seriously different traditions?" and answered questions from audience.

Facilitated by Rajan Zed, Director Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association and a distinguished Hindu statesman, as a part of 30-hour "Reno Birth 2012" event which ended at six pm on December 22, it focused on bringing cohesiveness and harmony among the diverse communities of Nevada.

Other faith leaders who participated included Ronald Arnold, Lutheran Pastor; Dan Jacobson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. Sherif A. Elfass, President of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Right Reverend Gene Savoy Junior, President of Nevada Clergy Association; Reverend Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Priest of Reno Buddhist Center; ElizaBeth W. Beyer, Rabbi of Temple Beth Or; Daniel R. Sanchez, President of Interfaith Students Club of University of Nevada-Reno; and Doyle Brown, atheist thinker.

Rajan Zed, in his inaugural address, suggested a more inclusive and broader understanding of religion and cooperating on common causes like peace, social development, ecological responsibility, etc. Dialogue would help us overcome caricatures passed on to us by previous generations, Zed added.

According to Sue Kennedy, one of the organizers, “Reno Birth 2012” was the area response to the global “Birth 2012” celebration which included prayers; yoga; music;  meditation; performances; films; entertainment; Sun Salute; children’s choir; Grotto ceremony; Qigong; performances; and talks/discussions/dialogue on spirituality, religions, media, social healing, indigenous people, power of music, etc. Global broadcasts included presentations from Guatemala, Australia, Mexico, Mt. Fuji (Japan), India, Canada, Mecca (Saudi Arabia), Scotland, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Jerusalem (Israel), Chicago, Colorado and Los Angeles.

“Birth 2012”, whose tagline was "Empowering the movement to birth a new era", was a global gathering celebrating the shift in consciousness occurring now, Kennedy pointed out, and termed it as “global awakening”. Dave Asher, Executive Director of Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op & Green Business Chamber of Commerce, was one of the sponsors of the "Reno Birth 2012".

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