From Aleppo to Jerusalem, Catholics and people of other faith denominations join in initiatives of prayer for peace.
The drama of the civil war in Syria has recently intensified, especially in the city of Ghouta, located 20 kilometres from Damascus.
Recently, the Salesian priest from Aleppo, Father Mounir Hanachi, has issued a message saying that the last seven years of war have been difficult, but in these days the situation is even more painful.
The Franciscan, parish priest of Aleppo, Father Ibrahim Sabagh, talks about the current situation. He says: “We have not reached peace, even in Aleppo. Yesterday there were many bombings on civilians in the west of the city, and this time, many were reported dead and wounded.” Even in the midst of so much pain, faith persists! In the parish of St. Francis of Aleppo, for example, Father Ibrahim celebrated various masses for children in favor of peace.
He adds: “It is not a secret that the situation [in Syria] is getting worse and every day we hear the noise of weapons and statements in favor of war and death rather than in favor of peace and life. We continue to pray. Our story in Syria is not over.”
Before the complexity of the situation in Syria, initiatives that keep our hope alive arise all over the world. Here in Jerusalem, for example, representatives of different faith denominations pray together for peace.
About 50 people belonging to different confessions and nationalities participated in the prayer led by Brother Émile, from the Taize Community.
The event, marked by times of silence, songs and prayers in various languages, took place in the chapel of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, near Bethlehem.
According to Br. Énile of the Taize Community, “Sometimes people believe that silence belongs only to monasteries and monks, however, God’s people should be able to discover silence and meditated prayer. This is why we offer this kind of prayer and share it with people who come to Taize.”
“There are differences among the participants, but what unites them is what prevails: the desire to lift up to God supplications for peace in the world,” he adds.