“Hindu Prayer Room” sought at Zurich Airport

Hindus are urging for a designated “Hindu Prayer Room” at Zurich Airport, Switzerland’s largest and one of the world’s leading airports.

Zurich Airport, which “regularly wins awards for its excellent services”, already has Christian and Muslim chapels and a mortuary.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that as considerable number of Hindu passengers used Zurich Airport; it would be nice if they had a quiet facility at the airport where they could pray/meditate/worship and perform religious services.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Board Chairman Andreas G. Schmid and CEO Stephan Widrig to work in this direction as an issue of fairness and equality in customer service. He or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help, if asked, regarding the structure of “Hindu Prayer Room”.

Hindus would appreciate Zurich Airport if this “Hindu Prayer Room” had murtis (statues) of popular deities, copies of sacred scriptures, a traditional bell and recorded devotional music; Rajan Zed noted.

Prayer/worship to God was highly important in Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, and it would be great to have “Hindu Prayer Room” at Zurich Airport so that Hindu passengers did not miss their daily worship rituals/rites while travelling through it; which might include recitation of texts, repetition of mantras and dhayan (meditation), Zed added.

Launched in 1997, Ecumenical Chaplaincy at Zurich Airport consists of four theologians and some volunteers and offers Evangelical Reformed and Roman Catholic religious services on some Sundays and a 20-minute “noon prayer” on Wednesdays. It offers services to travelers, employees, visitors, asylum seekers, etc.; for pastoral care, weddings, baptisms, funerals, confessions, sacraments, liturgies, etc. Aim is to provide pastoral care “based on the teachings of the Gospel of Christ”.

Zurich Airport, Switzerland’s gateway to the world, has received the prestigious World Travel Award for the 12th time in succession for its customer-friendliness and consistent high quality. It served over 25.4 million passengers and 429,830 tonnes freight in 2014.

There are about one billion Hindus in the world.

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