(TibetanReview.net, Feb07’20) – Leading the annual National Prayer Breakfast in the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, with President Donald Trump sitting nearby, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began on Feb 6 by mentioning Tibetan Buddhists, especially the disappeared Panchen Lama, in a prayer for “the poor and the persecuted”. The US Congress-hosted event brings together some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries.
“Let us pray for the Panchen Lama and all the Tibetan Buddhists in prison in China or missing for following their faith,” International Campaign for Tibet, Washington, DC, Feb 6 quoted Pelosi as saying as President Trump closed his eyes and bowed his head in prayer.
The Panchen Lama is the second most prominent religious figure in Tibet. However, he has been missing since 1995 when the Chinese government abducted him and his family just after the Dalai Lama proclaimed the then six-year-old as the reincarnation of the late 10th Panchen Lama. China installed another boy in his place.
Among those who attended the breakfast was Golok Jigme (also known as Jigmy Gyatso Golok), a Tibetan Buddhist monk, arrested by China in 2009 and 2012 for his role in helping to create “Leaving Fear Behind,” a 2008 documentary featuring ordinary Tibetans discussing China’s oppressive rule in their homeland. He was featured in a video that played during the event. He was stated to have spoken with Harvard Professor and Washington Post contributor Arthur Brooks who delivered the event’s keynote address.
The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, DC, usually on the first Thursday in February. The event—which is actually a series of meetings, luncheons, and dinners—has taken place since 1953 and has been held at least since the 1980s at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue NW.
It is typically attended by some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries. It is hosted by members of the United States Congress and organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a Christian organization. It is designed to be a forum for the political, social, and business elite to assemble and pray together.