Spiritual leader from Nevada to deliver first Hindu prayer at Oklahoma Senate

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Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY — A spiritual leader from Nevada will deliver the Oklahoma Senate’s first Hindu prayer on Monday afternoon.

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, will serve as “Chaplain of the Day” for the Oklahoma Senate on Monday. He is the guest of Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City.

According to the Universal Society of Hinduism website, Zed’s vision “was to create an organization that would bring people together, represent Hindus across the world, and take the basic tenants of Hinduism to educate and empower people to create a better world around them and leave a better world for the future generations.”

Earlier this session, an Oklahoma lawmaker faced backlash from leaders of different faiths after changing guidelines for selecting Chaplains in the House. Rep. Chuck Strohm, R-Jenks modified the rules of the House chaplain program to only allow ministers from a members “own place of worship”. 

Strohm resigned as chaplain coordinator in April 2018. In a brief statement, we were told:

“It has been a tremendous honor serving as the chaplain coordinator for the Oklahoma House. Effective immediately, however, I will no longer be serving in this role. Having the opportunity to meet so many pastors from our great state has been a tremendous honor and has inspired me to grow in my walk with the Lord Jesus.”  

A spokesperson for House speaker Charles McCall said the House is currently transitioning to a model similarly used by Congress. Through the 56th Legislature, Joel Harder with the Capitol Commission has been appointed to give the daily invocation for the House.

Both the Senate and House convene at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

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