On Christmas Eve CBS will present an hour-long special on the theme, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” produced by the United Religions Initiative, a global grassroots interfaith peace building network. The program will be broadcast at 11:35 p.m. EST. A clip from the program can be seen here.
The headquarters of the World Peace Prayer Society, the movement that promotes “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” is in Wassaic, New York, on the 300-acre farm that used to belong to William Benton, the same family that owned Troutbeck.
The program will feature an interfaith service at St. Gregory of Nysa’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco interspersed with wishes via video from around the world for peace. The messages will come from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, and will represent Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Indigenous, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Sikh and Shinto faiths.
Stories of interfaith efforts to build peace in war-torn areas, including the Middle East and West Africa, will also be shown during the program. “These powerful stories highlight the often-dangerous but essential work of promoting peace and cooperation between people of different religious, spiritual and cultural traditions,” explained an Isabella Ortega of the United Religions Initiative.
The United Religions Initiative (URI) facilitates “Cooperation Circles” to promote peace in areas where religiously-motivated violence has occurred. URI is affiliated with the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization, and is the largest grassroots interfaith peace-building network in the world, with programs in 92 countries.
The founder of the organization, the former Episcopal Bishop of California, the Right Rev. William E. Swing, said: “This program is a gift of light and hope in the midst of a world too often filled with darkness and despair.”