Soka Gakkai Malaysia Participates in Interfaith Prayer for Peace
On September 12, 2008, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) was one of various religious groups invited by the Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi (SFA), Cheras, Malaysia, to participate in the interfaith event "Understanding World Religions." SFA organized the event to promote greater understanding of the various faith traditions in the country. Along with SGM, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Hindu Sangam, Buddhist Maha Vihara and the Sikh community were among the groups attending the event.
In a solemn yet relaxed session, representatives from various faiths took turns to pray in their own tradition for the peace of the nation. SGM Vice General Director Johnny Ng briefly explained to the audience about the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo elucidated by Nichiren in 13th-century Japan and practiced by SGI members. He shared that the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an act of reaffirming the Buddha nature within each person and that the life of each person is sacred and worthy of respect. The SGM representatives chanted for about three minutes and ended with a silent prayer: "I pray for peace throughout the world and the happiness of all humanity." The invocation and silent prayer were projected on a screen for the benefit of all those attending.
The exchange provided an opportunity for the various groups to better understand the respective religious traditions. Vice General Director Ng remarked, "It was a great way to reach out to other faith groups and share with them how SGI members, practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, pray for the peace of the world and the happiness of humanity."
[Adapted from an article in the November 2008 issue of Cosmic, Soka Gakkai Malaysia]