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Ireland Parliament turns down Hindu prayer request

Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman, requested to have a Hindu opening prayer in one of the sessions of both houses of the Parliament. His request was denied. Zed feels that it is simply a case of blatant unfairness, exclusionary attitude, discrimination; and does not speak well of a democratic and highly developed nation like Ireland.

At the commencement of each sitting of the Dáil or Seanad, a Christian prayer is read. Such exclusivity is incompatible with the principle of the separation of Church and State, and a parliament of a 21st century republic whose citizens are diverse in their beliefs and belief systems.

The HAI has long called for an end to Christian prayers in the Dáil and Seanad, and Rajan Zed’s denial confirms that Christian prayers don't speak to all citizens. The HAI contend that a secular opening ceremony should replace the existing Christian prayer practice.


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