November 07, 2016, 3:15 PM
Photo by Denali National Park and Preserve, uploaded by AlbertHerring via Wikicommons
As the United States heads into a contentious presidential election on Tuesday, November 8, tensions are high and many fear violent outbreaks in their communities as a result of the escalating negative political rhetoric. This heartfelt prayer for a peaceful election comes from Despina Namwembe, a URI Regional Coordinator living in Kampala, Uganda, who along with a worldwide audience is watching the US election with deeply-felt anticipation.
The URI community draws together out of a desire for peace; peace between people of all religious backgrounds, spiritual expressions, and indigenous traditions. This is the power of the URI family.
Dear URI family,
The main reason that keeps me strongly connected to URI is its inter-connectedness both institutionally and at an individual level irrespective of the diverse social cultural differences in outlook, geographical location, social background, economic might, power etc. The US is going through a period that has never been experienced before. The issues surrounding its candidates have affected many especially those who believe in human rights, diversity, and what the US First Lady once termed as basic human decency.
When a child is perceived as stronger than other children, it is only imperative that we continue to know that he/she also has feelings, can get hurt, and also needs your support as a parent. The US needs our prayers now, not only because of its global influence, but because of how interconnected we are as humans.
When the women set out to pray for the Chibok girls in Nigeria, we acted because of that human nature of inter-connectedness. We can still do the same in our own religious backgrounds, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. A peaceful election and post-election healing is much needed in the US for our brothers and sisters, colleagues, friends and relatives alike. The US has built so much as a country, and yet it can lose so much depending who occupies that position of leadership.
As the world struggles with situations of division, hate, conflict, discrimination and human rights abuses, we need to use our spirituality for cultivating the good within ourselves and beyond borders. Whatever the election outcome, a lot of souls shall need healing and our prayers are important.
May peace prevail in the US. May peace prevail everywhere on earth.
United Religions Initiative (URI) Africa, Great Lakes
I am moved by this, Despina. And humbled by your call to spiritual support, from Uganda, for people in the United States. You are modeling the human interconnectedness you write about.
I am distressed that large numbers of people in this country seem to have lost sight of their connections with other Americans, let alone with our sisters and brothers around the world who can be so profoundly impacted by our country's actions.
I would like to think better of us, that we have learned from our history and have outgrown our preference for divisions instead of unity.
But again and again I am reminded through the news of how easily people feel (& indeed often are) left out, ignored, not heard, and not respected. So many people suffer from poverty and discrimination and fear. All of that contributes profoundly to the dissolution of healthy dialogue and democratic process.
We desperately need to engage, to find a way to stand together in solidarity and in recognition of the common ground that we all share. Thank you for your leadership.
May peace prevail, indeed.
URI Associate Director of Global Programs for Network Development
Dear Sister Despina,
How nicely you have called the attention of all! Thank you.
The United States is the mother of democracy. Way back in 1776, there were great thinkers and philosophers who could establish a free and fair State, which could be a model for the world. It is true that all the people have to rise up and preserve the values handed over by the forefathers from generations to generations.
Yes, let us uphold America in our prayers so that the American ethos will remain as beautiful as ever, whatever be the outcome of the election.
URI Regional Coordinator, India, South Zone
Thank you for your call. We unite our prayers for a peaceful election in the US and the well-being of Americans,
URI Regional Coordinator, URI Latin America and the Caribbean
Thank you deeply. May our citizens live into our founding values and keep the promise of democracy alive. I believe we will... But not without effort... And prayers.
URI Director of Global Programs and Organizational Development