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December 13, 2016, 4:40 AM

May Peace Prevail on Earth - The CBS Interfaith Special

May Peace Prevail on Earth - The CBS Interfaith Special

A Timeless and a Timely Classic for the Holiday Season:  "May Peace Prevail on Earth - The CBS Interfaith Special."

It’s the holiday season; from Christmas to Hanukkah, and from Lhabab Duchen to Diwali, religions and cultures around the world are celebrating. Because the URI community encompasses all religions, spiritual expressions, and Indigenous traditions, it is especially important for us to celebrate every occasion for joy fully.  

In “May Peace Prevail on Earth - The CBS Interfaith Special,” URI takes you on a journey of unity. It aired last year on Christmas Eve on CBS television stations across the United States. According to Nielsen ratings, the special was aired on 4 million TVs. Thousands more joined through online viewing.

The video is an hour-long celebration of interfaith peacebuilders from all over the world. From a one-of-a-kind Christmas Eve celebration in San Francisco to the war-torn streets of the Middle East and conflict-ridden cities of Western Africa, it explores extraordinary stories of cooperation across religious divides, collects wishes from around the world, and unwraps the present of peace.

Highlights include:

  • An interfaith holiday celebration at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California, USA, that brought together groups from different religious traditions and cultural performers uniting music and dance from different faiths and cultures into one whole expression of song and light.
  • The story of Janessa Wilder, who left her job working for the CIA in the war-torn Middle East, and started the Euphrates Institute, bringing warring religions together in down-to-earth conversations to address shared community goals.
  • The story of Dr. Emmanuel Ivorgba, who grew up in Nigeria amidst longstanding religious and tribal violence, and now risks his life to lead peacebuilding efforts across West Africa.
  • A personal story of Christmas peace in modern-day Bethlehem, shared by URI North America coordinator Sari Heidenreich.
  • Candle-lighting and multi-faith blessing ceremonies, where representatives of many traditions offered words of blessing from their own practices to add to the celebration. The traditions included Judaism, Christianity, Native American and African American culture, Hinduism, Buddhism, Earth Spirituality, Sikhism, the Baha’I faith, Humanism, and the Konko tradition.
  • Wishes of peace for the world, given by people spanning religions, ages, and countries around the planet.

The CBS Interfaith Special that aired on television stations across the United States last year is every bit as timely this year, if not more so. Right now, our world is in a period of upheaval and division, with communities and even families splintering along political lines. But the holiday season is a time for coming together.

In URI’s CBS Interfaith Special, we invite you to experience an event where people of all politics, religions, and cultures are united. We offer an antidote to the despair and devastating news that have taken over our day to day lives. This is for congregations, communities, and families of all spiritual practices. We offer an opportunity to gather with open hearts this holiday season.

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