Coalition Believes In The Power Of Prayer

Feb 20, 2003 12:43 PM EST

Another prayer rally for peace is set to be held at the Luneta Park, Manila, on Feb. 23, 4 p.m. The rally, organized by the multi-sectoral coalition Bangon Pilipino, is expected to be attended by more than half a million people of various faith.

El Shaddai leader and evangelist Bro. Mike Velarde and a member of Bangon Pilipino’s steering committee, appeal to all his followers to participate in the prayer rally.

"While the most powerful leaders of the world are in conflict we must pray together and ask the help of the Supreme Power who can settle everything, and believe that a community prayer is more powerful than a prayer of one person behind a closed door," he said during a forum held at the Club Filipino in Greenhills yesterday.

Others who attended the forum include Miguel Varela of Philippines Inc., Rene Ofreneo of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Vladimir Tupaz and Avelino Valerio of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

Velarde also disclosed in the forum that Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) as well as Muslim religious groups have also agreed to join.

"It’s about time because we have seen many demonstrations against the war all over the world but we have not seen a demonstration of faith," Velarde stressed.

Convenors of the coalition said that everyone is invited to the prayer rally, even politicians, but there will be no room for speeches and rhetoric.

Velarde clarified, however, that only the convenors and leaders of Bangon Pilipino, will be seated on stage and "others will be with the crowd."

He said they did not seek assistance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) "because Filipinos are peace-loving people, so we should not be afraid" of infiltrators in the event.

Velarde urged participants to bring doves as a symbol of peace.

Prior to this, Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin summoned Filipino Catholics for a similar prayer rally at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the EDSA Shrine.

Recently, Pope John Paul II urged the faithful to pray for peace and to "turn to the Lord to implore the great gift of peace, for only an intervention from on high can give reason to hope for a brighter future."

By Y.Hilado, ChToday Philippines
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