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Rajan Zed in August 2008
Rajan Zed is a Hindu and Indo-American statesman who was invited to read historic first Hindu prayers to the Washington State Senate, Nevada Assemblymarker and the Nevada Senatemarker, as well as the United States Senate in Washington, D.C.marker – his prayer is transcribed on page S9069 of the Congressional Record. He also read the historic first Hindu prayers in the State Senates of California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Washington. besides Arizona House of Representatives.

Public life

Zed is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, Spiritual Advisor to the National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families and Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association. He is Public Relations Officer of the Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, which is raising money to build a Hindu temple in the Reno area.

Active in interfaith dialogue and as a chaplain in Nevada and California hospitals, Zed is a member of the Reno Police Chief Advisory Board and a member of Diversity Action Plan committee of Washoe County School District. He is on the Board of Directors of Northern Nevada International Center and Nevada World Trade Council. He has been elected to the office of General Improvement District Trustee of Verdi TV District and is a Member of Citizens Advisory Committee of Regional Transportation Commission. He is Public Relations Officer of India Association of Northern Nevada. He has been on the Board of Directors of Washoe Library Foundation; in the Academic Senate of San Jose State Universitymarker, California; on Editorial Board of Reno Gazette-Journal, a Gannett newspaper; and on the Board of Directors of California State Employees Credit Union of San Jose. He was on the health curriculum committee of Fremont Unified School District in California; was a member of the planning and budget committee of University of Nevada-Renomarker and was listed in Who’s Who in America, 2006. He also teaches at Truckee Meadows Community Collegemarker.

Achievements

Zed has an MBA from University of Nevada-Renomarker; a Master of Science in Mass Communications from San Jose State Universitymarker, California; and Bachelor of Journalism from Panjab University, India.

He has been bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award” by NAIIF for “demonstrated extraordinary world leadership, courage and capacity for inspiring in others the urge of interfaith dialogue and cordial relations between faith communities”.

Interfaith relations

Roman Catholic Church

In 2009, he praised Pope Benedict XVI for the inclusion of Hindu verses in Good Friday prayers. He had also supported his call to the banking industry to help families in financial difficulties.

However, he was critical of statements exalting the God of the Sinai above the status of “just any god”. He later lauded Benedict for stepping up the fight against global warming by planning to build a large solar plant in Europe. Zed also criticized the makers of the film Angels & Demons for "spreading disinformation" about the Catholic Church's historical activities regarding the scientific community.

He had demanded that the Pope take up the cause of the Roma during the pontiff's visit to the Czech Republic.

Church of England

He applauded Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for organizing a Christian-Muslim dialogue . He criticized the Church of England for double standards on environment . The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to intervene on his request to make the reading of Hindu opening prayer in the United Kingdom House of Commons possible..

Eastern Orthodox Church

He praised His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew, Patriarch of Orthodox Christian Church, for taking a strong stand on environment . He found Bartholomew’s remarks of “common commitment” very encouraging . Lauded Bartholomew for voicing the need of inter-religious dialogue and urged him to organize the much needed world religious summit . He applauded Bartholomew for organizing a world-level and interfaith symposium to examine “moral aspects of the ecological problem” of Mississippi River .

He praised the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania for promoting “respect towards the environment” and calling over-exploitation and contempt towards nature an “unforgivable abuse”.

Church of Sweden

He commended the Church of Sweden for bringing together diverse religious leaders, religions and denominations to bless the environmental causes in Uppsala, but criticized inadequate and unfair representation to some of the major world religions .

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

He praised The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland for coming out with a “climate program” focused on “gratitude, respect and moderation”.

Church of Scotland

He extolled the Church of Scotland for stressing “urgent action to respond to climate change” and promoting “a more equitable and sustainable use of energy”.

Documentary film “ARTICLE VI: Faith* Politics* America”

Zed is part of the documentary film “ARTICLE VI: Faith* Politics* America”, directed by Bryan D. Hall and Jack R. Donaldson, which offers an intense discussion of the role of faith in politics and examination of the religious freedom in America.

Other advocacy

Gurkha support in the United Kingdom

He exhorted United Kingdom (UK) to let all retired Gurkha servicemen stay in the country. He appealed to Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan D. Williams to support the Gukhas’ cause. He urged the Nepalese government to award its highest civilian honor to BAFTA winner actress Joanna Lumley for leading Gurkhas to victory for residency rights in UK.

Advocacy for kirtan

He called for introduction of kirtan as a new field of awards at famed Grammys. He also urged the organizers of American Music Awards and British Phonographic Industry’s annual BRIT Awards to include an award for “Favorite Kirtan Artist of the Year”.

Environmental issues

He urged Hindu temples worldwide to become “green temples”. Criticized non-inclusion of world religious leaders in prestigious “Copenhagen COP 15” United Nations Climate Change Conference. He urged all world religious leaders, religions and denominations to openly bless the environmental causes. He stated that leaders of major world religions and denominations should be invited to actively participate in the ambitious “Copenhagen COP 15” United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Australian Parliament opening prayers

Urged Parliament of Australia to move to multi-faith opening prayers, saying that since Australian Parliament represented every Australian irrespective of religion/denomination, it was quite befitting in this increasingly diverse nation to do a rotation of prayers representing major religions and aboriginal spirituality.

Protest against incidents of racism in Australia

Stressed that Australia needed to do deep introspection of her heart and be kind to immigrants, minorities, indigenous people, and other vulnerable groups. Asked for adequate compensation to victims of incidents of racist violence in Australia. Sought formal apology from Australian Prime Minister for increasing incidents of racist violence against in Australia. Asked for assurances from Australia to minorities that urgent measures would be taken to prevent the racist violence incidents in the future.

References

  1. Page S9069 (PDF)
  2. Hindus praise Pope for inclusion of Hindu verses in Good Friday prayers
  3. Lauding Pope, Hindus urge banks worldwide to be compassionate to financially distressed families
  4. Hindus want public apology from Pope
  5. Hindus applaud Vatican & Pope for bravely going ahead with biggest solar plant of Europe
  6. Jews, Hindus urge Pope to undertake cause of Roma during Czech visit
  7. California Chronicle http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/78626
  8. Earthpages http://epages.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/lauding-archbishop-of-canterbury-for-christian-muslim-dialogue-hindus-urge-him-for-similar-parleys/
  9. American Chronicle http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/111941
  10. Topnews http://www.topnews.in/walk-talk-hindus-tell-church-england-2194296
  11. Aussie Indo Lanka http://www.aussieindolanka.com/news/australia/features/?newsid=66134&NewsDate=
  12. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/5724.html
  13. Ovi Magazine http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/3440
  14. American Chronicle http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/72209
  15. PodNova http://www.podnova.com/channel/46430/episode/257/
  16. The India Post http://www.theindiapost.com/2008/10/25/hindus-find-orthodox-patriarch-bartholomew%E2%80%99s-remarks-of-%E2%80%9Ccommon-commitment%E2%80%9D-very-encouraging/
  17. Allvoices http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/1504610-religious-dialogue
  18. Merinews http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=144433
  19. Long Beach Chronicle http://www.longbeachchronicle.com/articles/view/108852
  20. The World News http://newsdigital.xz.lt/2009/07/hindus-laud-orthodox-patriarch-bartholomew-over-environmental-leadership/
  21. Earthpages http://epages.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/hindus-commend-albania-orthodox-autocephalous-church-for-embracing-environment-cause/
  22. World Sentinel http://www.worldsentinel.com/articles/view/87625
  23. Earthpages http://epages.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/prestigious-world-level-uppsala-interfaith-climate-summit-faces-criticism-controversy/
  24. Jhoomba http://www.jhoomba.com/index.php/news/351
  25. Newstrack http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/35963
  26. News Blaze http://newsblaze.com/story/20090109093149zzzz.nb/topstory.html
  27. Ovi Magazine http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/3949
  28. Baltische Rundschau http://www.baltische-rundschau.eu/2009/01/18/hindus-extol-church-of-scotland-for-responding-to-climate-change-urgently/
  29. News Blaze http://newsblaze.com/story/20090119172703zzzz.nb/topstory.html#more-3944
  30. Earthpages.org http://epages.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/documentary-film-highlights-protested-hindu-prayer-in-us-senate/
  31. The Pluralism Project http://pluralism.org/news/view/21455
  32. Buzz 7 http://buzz7.com/international/hindus-urge-uk-to-let-gurkhas-stay.html
  33. Top News http://www.topnews.in/people/rajan-zed
  34. Voxy.co.nz http://www.voxy.co.nz/lifestyle/hindus-urge-nepal-honor-uk-actress-joanna-lumley/902/14723
  35. in.com http://www.in.com/news/readnews-current-affairs-hindus-urge-nepal-to-award-highest-civilian-honor-to-uk-actress-joanna-lumley-9341537-79114-1.html
  36. Bharat Sandesh http://bharatsandesh.com/bharat/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9773&Itemid=27
  37. Samay Live http://www.samaylive.com/news/hindu-scholars-ask-for-kirtan-award-at-grammys/621914.html
  38. Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/24869-hindu-scholars-ask-kirtan-award-grammys.html
  39. Broadcastindia.com http://www.broadcastindia.com/node/451944
  40. Bharat Sandesh http://bharatsandesh.com/bharat/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=8793
  41. Interfaith.org http://www.interfaith.org/2009/02/16/hindu-temples-should-go-green/
  42. Sindh Today http://www.sindhtoday.net/entertainment/77213.htm
  43. Thaindian News http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/hindus-criticize-ambitious-copenhagen-climate-summit-for-neglecting-world-religious-leaders_100169271.html
  44. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/6017.html
  45. Web Newswire http://www.webnewswire.com/node/447618
  46. Earthpages http://epages.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/hindus-stress-participation-of-world-religious-leaders-in-copenhagen-un-climate-conference/
  47. The Pluralism Project http://pluralism.org/news/view/22112
  48. Thaindian News http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/hindus-and-jews-have-urged-parliament-of-australia-to-move-to-multi-faith-opening-prayers_100196023.html
  49. American Chronicle http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/104573
  50. California Chronicle http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/104573
  51. EMMA TV http://www.emmainteractive.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21699&Itemid=430
  52. Dubai Samachar http://www.dubaisamachar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17098:protestors-torch-trains-in-bihar-over-halt-withdrawal&catid=31:india-news&Itemid=343
  53. Web Newswire http://www.webnewswire.com/node/457000


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