Washington, DC -- Ever since the inauguration of President George Washington, the first American President, every four years the inauguration of the new, or re-elected, US President has been accompanied by an interfaith prayer service. This year’s service, recognizing the inauguration of the new US President, Joe Biden, will as always, include a variety of religious leaders. In addition, for the first time it will also include a representative of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON’s Minister of Communications, will join with Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, Native Americans, and representatives of other faith traditions in a Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service that includes prayers, readings, hymns and blessings.
“I am honored to be part of this Interfaith Inaugural Prayer Service on behalf of ISKCON and the broader Hindu community,” said Dasa. “As a Vaishnava Hindu, I have great faith in the need for all people to work cooperatively for the common good, and to remember that for any effort, or any nation, to be successful we require the blessings of God, Lord Sri Krishna.”
In past years, the event has been held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. This year, due to the Covid pandemic, the event will be held virtually at 10 AM EST on January 21, and can be viewed via live streaming at https://bideninaugural.org/watch/ or https://cathedral.org
Dr. Tony Allen, Delaware State University President and CEO of the Presidential Inauguration Committee noted, “The National Prayer Service is an important tradition for our nation… [that] will honor the role of faith in our country, and provide a moment to reflect on the unprecedented challenges we face, as we enter this new American chapter.”
ISKCON is deeply committed to interfaith dialogue and understanding. The society hosts regular Vaishnava Christian and Vaishnava Muslim Dialogues in Washington, D.C. and participates actively in interfaith dialogues globally from Argentina, to Germany, to India, and Australia. ISKCON’s official statement, ISKCON and Interfaith, notes “We recognize that no one religion holds a monopoly on the truth, the revelation of God or our relationship with God…ISKCON members are encouraged to be respectful to people of faith from other traditions and to see the need for people of different faiths to work together for the benefit of society as a whole and for the glorification of God.”[ anuttama ] [ interfaith ] [ president ] [ white-house ]