Palau’s National Day of Prayer, established in 2017 as a national day of worship for religious denominations, was held yesterday morning at the Palau National Capitol in Ngerulmud, Melekeok, and was attended by both the incoming and outgoing administrations.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr., who first signed the day into law, and President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr., who is set to be inaugurated at the Capitol this Thursday, addressed the crowd gathered outside of the executive building, which included government officials currently occupying offices as well as those who will soon take office, as well as members of various Christian denominations within Palau.
President-elect Whipps, who has described himself as a devout member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, emphasized the role his personal faith has played in his life, as well as the importance of faith as a nation in the face of challenging times.
The ceremony included benedictions from Father Rusk Saburo, the Vicar of the Catholic Vicariate of Palau, as well as from Pastor Daniel Velez from Koror Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In his benediction, Pastor Velez said that Palau was blessed to be free from COVID, but prayed that people in Palau be mindful of “other diseases . . . such as corruption and self-centeredness”.
Benedictions were followed by worship songs, such as “Amazing Grace”, performed by the Palau Baptist Church choir.
Following the ceremony, President Remengesau and members of his outgoing administration held a cabinet meeting, the last to be held at the Capitol in Ngerulmud. President-elect Whipps and members of his incoming administration inspected preparations being made in the courtyard, where his inauguration will take place in two days.
Although Palau’s constitution protects religious freedom, President Remengesau has identified Palau as a “Christian island nation”, owing to the vast majority of the population’s identification with Christianity, which the incumbent President says has shaped values and mindsets within the country.

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