The International Board for the Global Day of Prayer has chosen Jacksonville, Fla., as the host for its worldwide 2011 religious event. It will take place on Pentecost Sunday (June 12, 2011) and is expected to attract more than 15,000 attendees.

Global Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement that began in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2000 to unite Christians for worship and to mobilize the church to become involved in social issues.

The God Channel will stream the event live to approximately 400 million viewers in 220 countries, and there will be meetings, tours, and events in Jacksonville in the days leading up to it.

"It made sense to choose a city like Jacksonville, which in 1564 proved to be the spiritual gateway to North America, beginning with the French Huguenots who erected a cross at Fort Caroline," said Charley Christie, event organizer for the 2011 event. "This sparked the first Christian celebration in the New World, and we find it fitting to bring the 2011 Global Day of Prayer to such a place."

Visit Jacksonville Interim President and CEO Mya Surrency said, "Our city feels honored to have been chosen as the anchor location for the world and is in good company with other past host cities, such as Hong Kong and Cape Town."

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