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Area churches plan to join in, bow heads

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This Friday women across the globe are hoping the world comes to a bit of a halt as they engage the power of prayer -- and many in the Detroit Lakes area will be among those with folded hands.

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The World Day of Prayer has been a marked occasion for Christian women since 1926, and come Friday, those women once again reunite in faith.

"It will begin at first sunrise on March 2 in the pacific region and follow the earth's orbit, shining it's light on the country of Malaysia and in turn the rest of the world," said Kay Fulp, as she read from the program mailed out to Christian churches detailing this year's mission.

Fulp is with Holy Rosary in Detroit Lakes, the church hosting this year's event for six other area churches -- United Methodist, Trinity Lutheran, Grace Lutheran, First Lutheran and the Congregational Church.

Every year the churches rotate the duties of hosting the event.

The 45-minute service begins at noon and will feature the country of Malaysia and the injustices faced by its women.

"It's usually planned by countries where women have a lot of problems -- where they're not treated fairly or are discriminated against," said Linda Schons, who along with Fulp is coordinating Friday's Detroit Lakes event.

"They suffer all kinds of abuse -- emotional abuse, financial abuse..." adds Fulp.

Although the event centers around women, the prayer services are open to anybody -- men, women and children of any religion.

According to its website, the international organization "is a movement initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions."

The goal is to highlight some of the world's darkest problems, bringing awareness and ideally action to them.

A free-will offering taken at every service across the world that day will go both towards battling issues in Malaysia (like human trafficking) and women's programs in other counties, including the U.S.

Last year the featured region was Cameroon, Africa -- next year it is France.

"But I think a big part of it is the power of prayer," said Schons. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you live."

"Because we're all God's children, whether people know it or not," added Fulp.

Friday's movement is designed to bring together all races, cultures and traditions for one day of fellowship and "informed prayer."

For the Holy Rosary service, readers from the various churches will be carrying Malaysian products such as pineapples, palm oil, natural rubber products and rice.

They'll also be dressed in Malaysian garb in honor of this year's chosen country.

"It's really interesting because although I have heard of Malaysia, I really didn't know much about it," said Audrey Erdmann, who is spearheading a World Day of Prayer event at the Lake Park Lutheran Church.

"Now, all these ladies everywhere will know what's happening there (Malaysia)."

Lake Park's event, which will also include Cormorant Lutheran and other rural churches, begins at 1 p.m. and goes for about an hour.

"I think it shows that we are all the same no matter what country you live in, and the bottom line is we're praying to God," said Erdmann.

"It really gets rid of the 'us' and 'them' attitude and makes you realize that we're all in this boat together," said Fulp.

Holy Rosary is also serving lunch after the event as a way for members of different churches to fellowship.

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