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Regardless of religion, churches across Utah seek unity, understanding

By Carole Mikita | Posted - Sep. 11, 2011 at 10:00 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Ten years ago, many churches across the country opened their doors to anyone who wanted a place to pray. That happened in Utah as well, as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir invited everyone to be part of a special community concert.

A community orchestra and choir came together this evening to perform Mozart's Requiem.

"Be in prayer for those who are feeling the loss, still, and be in prayer for our nation, to continue to advocate a life that is open and free," said Pastor Michael Imperiale of the First Presbyterian Church.

Sunday, people gathered at the Episcopal Cathedral for a special prayer service of remembrance.

"We do need a new beginning and a new beginning that draws us back together where we were for a brief moment after 9/11, when all of us as a nation really were one," said Rt. Rev. Scott Hayashi of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.

During Sunday services at the Sikh Temple, this congregation paid tribute. The Sikhs suffered persecution after 9-11 but they are not Muslims. Jagdish Gill said education is helping.

"It doesn't matter the different religions are different ways to reach God, but God is the same and we are children of only one God," said Jagdish Singh Gill, a Sikh.

During Saturday services, Rabbi Zippel read from the Torah. We still focus too much, he said, on what divides us.

"Whether that be skin color, practice of religion, sexual preference, ideology, whatever it is --I think as a nation, it's about time, 10 years after 9/11 that we start functioning as a people who are more united," he said. "How can we become better individuals so that events that are linked to the 9/11 does not take place again?"

During Friday prayers, the Imam told the faithful, a better nation begins with them becoming better people.

"When they are able to view a Muslim for what a Muslim is, they will realize, 'these people are no different, flesh like us, blood like us, thinking capacities like us, etc., etc.' And that's what I would like to see much more," said Imam Muhammed Mehtar.

And the Mormon Tabernacle Choir took a musical message to the nation this day: "9/11: Rising Above."

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Carole Mikita


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