Pope Francis has encouraged all faithful Christians to fast and pray for peace in the Middle East on Friday, October 27, as the war between Israel and Hamas enters its third week — and in an Oct. 24 letter to the diocese, which contains parishes in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Cyprus, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, echoed those calls. Pizzabella called the last two weeks "one of the most difficult and painful periods in our recent times and history." He said, "For over two weeks now, we have been inundated with images of horrors, which have reawakened ancient traumas, opened new wounds, and made pain, frustration and anger explode within all of us." AMID THE DEVASTATION OF THE ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR, RELIGIOUS LEADERS CALL FOR DAY OF FASTING Noting "the whole world views this Holy Land of ours as a place that is a constant cause of wars and divisions," it "is precisely why it was good that a few days ago, the whole world joined us with a day of prayer and fasting for peace," said Pizzaballa, referring to an October 17 request for prayer and fasting. With the pope's additional call for another day of prayer and fasting, "it will be a day that we will celebrate with conviction," Pizzaballa wrote. "It is perhaps the main thing we Christians can do at this time: Pray, do penance, intercede. For this, we thank the Holy Father from the bottom of our hearts," he said. Said Pope Francis in his October 18 general audience, "I have decided to call for a day of fasting and prayer on Friday 27 October, a day of penance to which I invite sisters and brothers of the various Christian denominations, those belonging to other religions and all those who have at heart the cause of peace in the world, to join in as they see fit," Additionally, Pope Francis said there would be "an hour of prayer in a spirit of penance to implore peace in our time, peace in this world," on the evening of October 27 at St. Peter's Basilica. 'PEOPLE OF ISRAEL NEED OUR PRAYERFUL SUPPORT,' SAY US FAITH LEADERS FROM COAST TO COAST AS WAR CONTINUES "I ask all the particular churches to participate by arranging similar activities involving the People of God," he said. Pope Francis called the situation in Gaza "desperate," and pleaded for "everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster." "War does not solve any problem: it sows only death and destruction, foments hate, proliferates revenge," he said. "I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words — in prayer, with total dedication." Other faith leaders also called for prayer for peace in the Holy Land and stressed the need for unity. AMID ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SIGN UP TO PRAY AND DO MITZVOT FOR ISRAELI SOLDIERS "These conflicts surely grieve God's heart and are a direct affront to everything that Christ represents," Don Shenk, executive director of The Tide Ministry in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. Peace, said Shenk, "is made possible when we turn our focus away from ourselves and our differences to acknowledge and submit to God's authority." One way to do this, he said, was "joining together in unified prayer." CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER This act "is an invitation for God to assert His authority and an expression of our desire to cooperatively strive to see everyone embracing the fact that Jesus was God's provision for peace and harmony among all people," said Shenk. In addition, Jeff King, president of the D.C.-based organization International Christian Concern, told Fox News Digital, "We look at Israel and Gaza and find ourselves heartbroken and perplexed. But with any painful and intractable problem, beyond our personal capacity, we must look to the Lord for a solution." King noted that in the Bible, Jesus said that "we would endure much trouble" — but also to have courage. "It is in this vein that I would urge those of faith to cry out for the peace of ‘Jerusalem,’" he said. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA) in Tupelo, Mississippi, told Fox News Digital that "my personal family, my church family, and our AFA family are praying for wisdom, courage, and unity in Israel so that this threat to the country's existence can be dealt with swiftly." "I encourage our nation to join with other believers in praying for the nation of Israel. Pray for the safety of the families who are facing danger at the hands of their enemy and the enemy of God," he said. "Pray for the leadership of Israel, that God will grant them His wisdom in protecting their nation and people." For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.
25 Ekim 2023 - 02:00
As Pope Francis calls for another day of fasting and prayer for peace in Middle East, faith leaders respond
Pope Francis urges all Christians to spend October 27 as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Middle East as the war continues. Other faith leaders shared thoughts.
25 Ekim 2023 - 02:00