PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
26th July, 2014, Abu Dhabi.
The recent events in the Middle East call for all of the faithful of the Vicariate to accompany the many innocents who suffer with our solidarity and our prayers.
The Holy Father Pope Francis has repeatedly called for peace in Gaza, Syria and Iraq, pointing out that violence is never a part of the solution. “Violence begets violence,” Pope Francis declared. “Dialogue is the only way to peace”, the Pope recently said in a statement touching on the plight of thousands of families, especially Christian, who had to leave their homes and who are in grave danger in Iraq.
In Gaza, the Holy Father has followed with great concern the plight of the suffering of not only Christians, but all the innocent men, women and children who have to suffer as a result of the conflicts. In a message to the Parish Priest of Gaza, the Pope offered words of comfort and assured them he was praying for them all.
Following his last heartfelt appeal for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land, the Holy Father Francis personally telephoned President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine to share his very serious concerns regarding the current situation of conflict involving in particular the Gaza Strip which, in a climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering for the two populations, is claiming many victims and giving rise to a serious humanitarian emergency. He reminded the presidents, whom he considers to be men of peace and seekers of peace, of the need to continue to pray and endeavour to ensure that all the interested parties and those who hold political office at local and international level work to bring an end to hostilities, making efforts to promote truce, peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those involved.
Speaking about the situation in Syria, Pope Francis said, “We run the risk of forgetting the suffering which doesn’t affect us personally. May we respond to it, and may we pray for peace in Syria”, tweeted Pope Francis on @Pontifex. During his recent trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis called for an "urgent" end to the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis it has created. During a visit with refugees from the conflict – who are being hosted by Jordan - Francis deviated from his prepared remarks to make a strong plea for peace, praying for God to "convert those who seek war, those who make and sell weapons!"
The Holy Father also follows with great concern the situation in Iraq. The Pope expressed solidarity with the suffering of the Iraqi Christians and keeps in close touch with the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan and Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako.
In recent days, Patriarch Sako has launched an appeal to the United Nations, asking that the Security Council not remain a simple observer to the continued atrocities committed by extremists and the so-called Islamic State. Particularly critical is the situation of Mosul, in which more than 1,000 Christian families fled. Numerous Christian organizations have sounded the alarm on the treatment of Christians in Iraq.
The Bishop, the priests and the faithful of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia express their solidarity with all the innocent victims in Gaza and Syria and the Christian Faithful in Iraq - all those who have to suffer as a result of the hostilities and join in heartfelt and fervent prayers for the Lord to bring and end to the climate of hostility and restore peace and safety. We furthermore call upon all the associations, movements and groups across the Vicariate to pray in a special way these coming days for this intention.
(Source: Vatican Radio News)
To follow the latest updates, please visit