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For what could be the first time in city history, a Longview City Council meeting next week will begin with a Hindu invocation.

To comply with law regarding separation of church and state, the invocation will be given before the official start of the council meeting.

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures, followed by the English interpretation of the prayers, according to a press release.

Reciting from Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), Zed will urge council members to keep the welfare of others always in mind, according to the release.

There is a moment of reflection held just before each City Council meeting. Any religious group is welcome to sign up to fill the three-minute slot, Longview Mayor Don Jensen said. But he added that this might be the first time Longview has had someone from the Hindu faith sign up.

“It’s kind of interesting. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Jensen said.

The regular council meeting will occur at 7 p.m. Thursday May 24 in Longview City Hall.

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