The National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families (NAIIF) has announced their "World Interfaith Leader Award" for prominent Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed.
Announcing this in the Stagecoach (Nevada, USA) located headquarters of NAIIF, Reverend Michael Slater and Barbara Slater, NAIIF founders and co-chairs, said that their panel of judges found that Zed "demonstrated extraordinary world leadership, courage and capacity for inspiring in others the urge of interfaith dialogue and cordial relations between faith communities".
This award will be given to Rajan Zed in a special ceremony during the "Day of Recollection" event at NAIIF's TAMBO Retreat Center on December 13. "The purpose of this award is to enhance awareness of the critical role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of world peace as well as to provide support for the furtherance of these activities", the Slaters said.
"Rajan Zed has worked with many Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i, Jain, Zoroastrian, Native American, etc., leaders and organizations for a deeper, broader and more inclusive understanding of religion; seeking unity that celebrated diversity; and attempted to overcome prejudices and stereotypes passed on to us from previous generations", Michael Slater added.
"The challenge for us all is to comprehend how to live together with our seriously different traditions in loyalty and trust and Zed worked in this direction through dialogue, thus bringing us mutual enrichment", Barbara Slater pointed out.
Rajan Zed read the groundbreaking first Hindu opening prayer in United States Senate in Washington DC during its 218 years history. He is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He has been invited by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering for a meeting in Brussels (Belgium) in December to promote interfaith dialogue. He is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, one of whose aim is to "foster interreligious dialogue".
NAIIF, spread across the United States, enables families and couples in "mixed" relationships to grow in understanding and live in harmony through accepting and understanding the differences and discovering the similarities.