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Aug. 3, 2015 - CHICAGO -- In response to the various acts of violence, hatred, and discrimination in our country and around the world, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) sponsored a “Prayers for Peace + Reconciliation” gathering on July 31. Hundreds of people representing all faiths came together at Daley Center in downtown Chicago in the hope that prayer will help the country end division and unite in faith.

The annual event was prepared by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, and Bishop Wayne Miller of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. They were joined by religious leaders of many different faiths who expressed their sorrow for the violence and prejudice that affect our communities, offered prayers or sacred readings for reconciliation and demonstrated hope through song.

Special memorial prayers were offered for the victims of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as the victims of the shooting at The Armed Forces Career Center and the Navy Operational Support Center & Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The service concluded with a “Litany of Hope and Coexistence" recited by a group of young people of diverse backgrounds and religions.

Interfaith leaders in attendance included: Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago; Rabbi Michael Balinsky, President Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; Reverend B. Herbert Martin, International Council of Community Churches Progressive Community Center; Tabassum A. Haleem, Executive Director - Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago; Rohinton Rivetna, Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago; Shayda Safapour, Chicago Baha'i Community; Dr. Hemlata Pokharna, Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago; Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra, Co-Founder Sikh Religious Society; Bishop Sally Dyck, United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference; The Rev. Deacon Jacqueline G. Lynn, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago; Rev. David A. Jones, Pastor, St. Benedict the African-East, Dean of Deanery 6A; Brahmachari Kriyananda, The Kriya Vedanta Gurukulam-Temple Of Harmony; Dr. Hemlata Pokharna, Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago; Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra Co-Founder Sikh Religious Society; Rohinton Rivetna, Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago; The Rev. Dr. David Coleman, Jr., Presiding Elder, Emeritus African Methodist Episcopal Church; Envoy Tyrone Staggers, The Salvation Army; and Bishop Wayne Miller, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Metropolitan Chicago Synod.

About CRLMC:  The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (http://www.crlmc.org/) (CRLMC), a non-profit organization, if comprised of the head religious leadership of practically every major religious tradition in the broader Chicago area representing nearly six million people. Through its work, the CRLMC speaks with a unified moral voice on issues of the day; creates a climate of better interfaith understanding and cooperation; and, participates in programs which advance its work.