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Motsepe and faith-based leaders call for a national day of prayer

07 November 2017 - 15:38 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Patrice Motsepe (center), South African mining magnate and founder of the Motsepe Foundation, shares a moment with some of South Africa’s leading religious figures during a conference to discuss the need for prayer in this ‘crucial moment in history’ for South Africa, Sandton Sun, November 11, 2017.
Patrice Motsepe (center), South African mining magnate and founder of the Motsepe Foundation, shares a moment with some of South Africa’s leading religious figures during a conference to discuss the need for prayer in this ‘crucial moment in history’ for South Africa, Sandton Sun, November 11, 2017.
Image: Greg Roxburgh

The Motsepe Foundation in collaboration with leaders from different faith-based organisations gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre‚ Johannesburg‚ on Tuesday to announce a call for a national day of prayer for the far-reaching problems the country is facing.

The National Day of Prayer is expected to take place on November 26 at FNB Stadium in Soweto.

The call to “soak” the country in prayer is dedicated to healing racial tensions‚ to pray for the poor‚ unemployed and marginalised people and to ask for God's guidance‚ leadership and blessings for a bright future for all South Africans‚ the leaders said.

"We want to continue in that culture where religious leaders lead and pray for us. There is so much that is dividing us‚ and the focus should be on what keeps us together. No nation has succeeded by spending too much time on things that divide them‚" said Patrice Motsepe‚ chairman of the Motsepe Foundation.

Rabi Harris of the Jewish community of South Africa said that prayer was vitally needed considering the problems the country was facing.

"We need to harness and bring prayer together. Prayer can change the world‚ inspire us and unlock the blessings of heaven. The Jewish community is excited about this initiative‚" said Harris.

The Muslim community is also expected to participate in the prayers on the day.

Moulana Ebrahim Bham‚ secretary general of the Council of Muslim Judicial Council‚ said that the Muslim theologians hoped the prayers would herald a turning point for the country.

"We pray for a peaceful and prosperous future for this country. There's no doubt the aspect of poverty‚ crime and security are challenges in this country. We only complaining about darkness but no one is lighting the candle. Poverty will only be eradicated by social justice. If you are more fortunate than others‚ build a long table than a taller fence. Let this prayer be a turning point for all of us‚" said Bham.

Bishop Buti Tlhagale of the Catholic church said that country was in a crisis. "Today when you open newspapers there is so much corruption being reported on. The rich steal. They steal like the poor‚ stealing nickel and dime from each other‚" remarked Tlhagale.

Members of the public and religious people are encouraged to pray and fast ahead of the conference.

Approximately 34 religious and faith-based organisations have committed to the prayer.

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