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3june20091Reykjavík: Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Iceland on Friday and on Monday he participated in a well-attended peace ceremony with the leaders of the primary religious groups in Iceland in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s landmark church.

“People who only think about money and nothing but money, power and nothing but power, should pay closer attention to their inner values,” His Holiness said during a press conference on Monday, as Fréttabladid reports.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama encouraged people to show compassion and care for their fellow man. He also addressed the conflict between Tibet and China and stated that a growing number of Chinese showed understanding towards the Tibetan cause. The Dalai Lama said his wish is for Tibet to become a sovereign region within China.

The pan-religious ceremony in Hallgrímskirkja was entitled “Peace and Hope” and was organized by the Bishop’s Office. Bishop of Iceland Karl Sigurbjörnsson gave the opening address.

Sigurdur Sigurdarson, Bishop of Skálholt, represented the Lutheran State Church and Pétur Burcher, Bishop of Reykjavík, represented the Catholic Church.

Then Imam Salman Tamimi, chairman of the Muslim Association on Iceland, spoke, followed by Eygló Jónsdóttir, divisional manager for the SGI Buddhist movement in Iceland.

Hólmfrídur Sigurdardóttir represented the Bahá’í Faith community in Iceland, while Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high-chieftain of Ásatrúarfélagid, represented the followers of the ancient Norse religion in Iceland.

Before His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s address, Irma Sjöfn Óskarsdóttir from the Bishop’s Office read from the Bible. His address was followed by a moment of silence and then Bishop Sigurbjörnsson gave the closing statement.

The ceremony ended with “Lofsöngur,” the National Anthem of Iceland, performed by the Hallgrímskirkja church choir, accompanied and conducted by organist Hördur Áskelsson.

Today, His Holiness will give a presentation in Laugardalshöll concert and conference in Reykjavík. Sigur Rós will play one song before the presentation begins, although the band’s lead singer, Jónsi, will not be in attendance, visir.is reports.

The exiled Tibetan leader is in Iceland at the invitation of a nonprofit group. During the visit, His Holiness the Dalai Lama took part in an interfaith gathering at a Reykjavik church and met with officials and lawmakers. Icelandic foreign ministry spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir said China had formally registered its protest of the meetings.

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