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ENGLAND: 9/11 initiative launched as 'Awareness Sunday'

[Episcopal News Service] A new initiative, "Awareness Sunday," was launched in London this week to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Sept. 11, 2011 -- the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania -- falls on a Sunday, when a public "Vespers of Peace" service will be held at Westminster Abbey in London.

A 12-member committee was commissioned on June 8 to oversee the initiative, which is sponsored by the Awareness Foundation, an educational organization founded in 2003 in response to religious conflict and violence around the world. The foundation includes a branch in Washington, D.C.

The commissioning event was attended by 100 invited guests. Quotes of support for the initiative have been received from the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, and other faiths leaders, according to a press release.

"Through education, Awareness Sunday can play a part in ending all kinds of violence in the name of religion," said the Rev. Nadim Nassar, the foundation's director. "It is about loving your neighbor as yourself, whatever their faith or worldview."

Nassar, the only Syrian-born Anglican priest in the Church of England, said he hopes that Awareness Sunday "begins a dialogue that can deepen one's own faith and bring awareness of the faith of others. It is a path to peace."

Resources on how to observe Awareness Sunday locally are available here.


Copyright © 2011 Episcopal News Service