Hindus ask victorious Iceland President for multi-faith prayers at Parliament opening
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has warmly congratulated Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson for winning record fifth term in office.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged President Grimsson to introduce multi-faith prayers by leaders of major religions instead of just Lutheran mass at the Reykjavík Cathedral at convening of Althingi (Parliament), which would be on second Tuesday of September this year.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Iceland was becoming increasingly religiously diverse nation and the nation’s Parliament should represent all Icelanders instead of just one denomination. This tradition needed to be relooked at and changed to a more inclusive event. Moreover, this breached the equality of religions, Zed added.
Since 1845, the new session of the Icelandic Parliament opens with a church service in Reykjavík Cathedral in Icelandic, organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church (the State Church in Iceland).
Althingi is believed to have been established at Thingvellir (about 40 km east of Reykjavík) in 930 AD and is functioning in Reykjavik since 1845. Under the terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Iceland (founded in 1944), the Icelandic Parliament, together with the President of the Republic, exercises legislative power.