News Release

Lighting the World Together

Faith and humanitarian leaders come together in New Delhi for fellowship and service


Over forty members of the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Baha’i and Christian communities gathered on Saturday night December first in Delhi to celebrate their friendship and their commitment to service. 

Guests included Dr. A.K.Merchant, National Trustee of the Lotus (Baha’i) Temple, New Delhi, Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, head of the Jewish community in New Delhi and Arif Mohammed Kahn, former cabinet minister and advocate for the rights of Muslim women.   

Also present representing the Christian community were Dr. M.D. Thomas, Founder-Chair and Director of Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies and Weston Davis, Country Director of the Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency with whom LDS Charities has partnered for disaster relief in India.

Bradley R Hansen, President of the India New Delhi Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reminded those gathered of Christ’s injunction to serve, adding, “As followers of Jesus, we are committed to serving as he served.  All of us, regardless of our faiths have that common belief that when we serve one another we are really serving our God.”

For many present, service to their fellowmen is a way of life. Fazalur Rehman Qureshi feeds about 500 people a day for free at his restaurant in Old Delhi. “We look forward to getting together every year and value our association with the Church,” he said.  “We have a common goal to serve others and that is a powerful bond.”

Well-known humanitarian, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, which has provided toilets and social services to millions of people in India and around the world, likewise expressed the importance of service, to which he has been dedicated for the past 50 years. 

Following President Hansen’s remarks, Suresh Ramakrishna, head of all the Latter-day Saint congregations in New Delhi introduced the Light the World initiative for 2018 noting that, “Jesus said “I am the light of the world.”  

He went on to explain, “Jesus extends the invitation to all of us to become a part of that light.”  President Ramakrishna then invited the guests to join with Church members worldwide to light the world during the month of December by performing acts of service.  Each guest was invited to take a blanket at the end of the evening to share with someone in need.  

Dr. Pathak and his guest, Sutirtha Sahariah, reported that they were “inspired by the theme of the evening, 'lighting up the world together' and as requested, found two really needy and homeless mothers on the street on the way home and gave the blankets to them.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages everyone to give as Christ gave this season and “Light the World.”

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