April 18, 2017, 10:26 AM
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”
- Black Elk (1863-1950)
March 31, 2017 in Bonn, Germany
URI took part in an Interreligious Peace Prayer in the crypt of the Cross-Church at Bonn. It was at the end of an exhibition called “Peace Goes Differently.” The exhibition showed how, in different places around the world, like India, Liberia, and South Africa, people have fought nonviolently for peace. They have ended conflicts by using words and by showing civil courage instead of by using weapons.
At the Peace Prayer, people of different faiths named places of conflict in the world, and explained why they chose this place. Then they spoke some words concerning peace, which came from their religion or their backgrounds.
In the third part, they named some virtues to grant peace in the world - like compassion, respect, love, trust, to see in the other your brother and sister, to give hospitality, and zu as for forgiveness.
At the end, the visitors to the ceremony were asked to light a candle and to have a silent prayer.
A harp-player framed the ceremony with beautiful music. It was a very touching atmosphere and we all hoped that our words and our actions will help healing.