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By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, July 18: Sarawakians of different faiths are welcome to attend the ‘Sarawak Day Ecumenical Prayer Service’ hosted by Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) this Thursday, July 20 at 7.30pm at Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre (CEWC) on Jalan Stampin.
According to ACS secretary-general Elder Ambrose Linang speaking at today’s press conference for the said prayer service at CEWC here, approximately 2,000 to 2,500 people are anticipated to attend. The prayer service is held in conjunction with Sarawak’s 60th anniversary of independence.
“All members of State and federal governments, heads of departments, and leaders of interfaith groups such as Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Bahá’í have been invited to attend in the spirit of ‘Segulai Sejalai’ (Together in Unity).
“Let us at all times break down walls and make bridges among all Sarawakians of different faiths,” he said.
Ambrose disclosed the prayer service themed ‘Abound in Hope’ will be hosted by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
“Pastor Chan Tin Loi is the chairman of the main organising committee. Seventh-day Adventist Church president Pastor Semilee Tajau will share a reflection on the theme, while the Anglican Assistant Bishop of Kuching Rt Reverend Nelson Ugas will recite the opening prayer and Kuching Roman Catholic Archbishop Most Revd Dr Simon Poh will lead the blessing with all heads of churches at the end of the programme,” he added.
He also revealed that Eugene Suboh will lead a combined choir, which will also lead the congregational singing of hymns during the service. Additionally, Paka Siam and Edmund Dais will lead the mini ensemble.
“The order of the service will cover different themes of scripture readings and prayers, and the recitation of the holy scriptures will be in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Bidayuh Biatah, and Iban.”
The readings of scriptures and prayers will be preceded by the hoisting of Jalur Gemilang and Sarawak flags by a federal minister and State minister respectively.
“There will also be prayers for the Sarawak government, Premier, and Cabinet, as well as lawmakers and those in authority, to continue working harmoniously in upholding our religious freedom, justice, liberty, political stability, unity, leaders, and social inclusivity, and that blessings be upon Sarawak.
“We pray for leaders of various faiths to promote mutual understanding and respect among people of all races and faiths.
“We also pray for all believers to promote true Christian moral values, to be a witness to the community, and to contribute to our State’s peace and harmony,” Ambrose said, adding that prayers for world peace will be offered for justice and righteousness to prevail in all countries.
Additionally, Ambrose stated that ACS invites all Christians in the city to participate in the prayer service to symbolise unity.
“It is time to pray for our beloved Sarawak and Malaysia for the spirit of goodwill to reclaim centre stay among all races of different beliefs and cultures.
“Let us not allow racial polarisation and religious extremism to destroy the fabric of our society which has been the main engine that has prepared Sarawak and Malaysia.”
ACS branches throughout Sarawak will also be holding similar services at their respective premises. — DayakDaily