People from different faiths gathered together at the Uniting Church in Yamba last Friday to participate in the ‘World Day of Prayer – Cuba’.
The World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of all traditions.
The event focuses on one country each year and the Christian women from the selected country write a one-hour prayer that focuses on their country, lives and challenges.
It is estimated that more than three million people across 170 countries participate in the prayer day.
Speaking on behalf of the Yamba gathering, Barbara Whale said a similar service was held in Maclean.
“Jesus said to them, ‘receive children, receive me’, that is the theme for this year,” she said.
“That is the focus with the offering, to give help to women who are suffering from domestic violence in Cuba.
“It’s something that is happening around the world and it’s a major problem here in Australia as well.
“So they want to raise money through the Bible Society [of Australia] programs to assist women and children in Cuba.”
An international executive committee meets every four years to choose the countries and themes that are the focus of World Prayer Day.
Ms Whale said that the people who attended the Yamba service would share their experience and what they have learned with their own churches.
“”We’re having a trivia quiz about Cuba,” she said.
“We want people to understand more about Cuba, particularly about its history.
“People of our age group still go back in history to things like the Cuban missile crisis and more recently Guantanamo Bay.
“Coming together as people from different denominations … is a good way for people to share their faiths.”
Australia has chosen the theme for the day on two occasions: ‘Bread of Life’ in 1958 and ‘Choose Life’ in 1986.
According to World Day of Prayer Australia, the first official global event was held in 1927.
“Since the 19th century, Christian women in the United States and Canada have initiated cooperative activities in many areas including concern for women and children, the role of prayer in mission work and women linking world peace with their involvement in mission work worldwide.
“The first organised day of prayer held nationally was in Canada on January 9, 1920.”