News Release

President of Peru Attends Interfaith Prayer Service Hosted by Latter-day Saints

“We Pray for Peru” service held in celebration of Independence Day

An interfaith prayer service was held in celebration of the 201-year anniversary of the Peru’s independence with attendance by the president of the republic, Pedro Castillo Terrones, and first lady, Lilia Paredes, in attendance.

The event was held at a meetinghouse of the Lima Peru Limatambo Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The location holds a special significance as the site of the first meetinghouse built by the Church in Peru.

The second annual “We Pray for Peru” service was organized by the Interreligious Council of Peru and held on July 25, 2022. Several government, civic and religious leaders attended the service, including the archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ayacucho, Monsignor Salvador Piñeiro, and Elder Jorge Zeballos, a General Authority Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ.

The event was broadcast on national television and social media platforms. Many religious leaders offered prayers during the ceremony for the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable and Indigenous communities, families supported by community kitchens, migrants, government authorities, unity in the country, better work opportunities, affordable housing, health and education.

“Being united is not synonymous with agreeing on everything, but the fact that this [interfaith] ceremony was held is a demonstration that many things can be done together, regardless of the differences we may have in thought and belief,” said Elder Zeballos. “When there is a powerful underlying reason to achieve higher ends, unity is the only way to achieve it.” Musical arrangements represented a variety of genres, with several artists participating, including acclaimed soprano Lola Márquez, who sang the National Anthem, and a local vocal group that performed the well-known “Song of Joy” and “HanacPachap Cusicuinin,” which is the Quechua language’s oldest polyphony and means “joy from heaven.” A choir from the Maranga stake (a group of congregations) performed an arrangement of the Latter-day Saint children’s hymn “Where Love Is” with young vocal soloist Pierina Moron.

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo Terrones, with leaders participating in the interreligious meeting held in the Limatambo chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The “We Pray for Peru” service was first held last year during the height of the pandemic to pray for the victims of COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of more than 214,000 Peruvians to date. The 2021 service was broadcast from the gardens of the Lima Peru Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple is considered a deeply sacred space by Church members and reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith.

The Interreligious Council of Peru was founded 14 years ago with the purpose of creating a space for dialogue, fraternity and cooperation between religious communities. The council promotes justice, peace, solidarity, care for the environment and ethical and moral values in the country.

The council consists of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, the National Evangelical Council of Peru, the Union of Evangelical Christian Churches of Peru, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Anglican Church of Peru, the Lutheran Church of Peru, the Methodist Church of Peru, the Evangelical Presbyterian and Reformed Church in Peru, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Antioquia, the Jewish Association of Peru, the Islamic Association of Peru, the Bahá’í Community of Peru, the Sotoshu Zen Community of Peru and Brahma Kumaris Peru.

This article was originally published in Spanish:

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