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» 09/02/2013
SYRIA - VATICAN
Gregory III : Syria and the Middle East united with Francis in prayer for peace
According to the Patriarch of Antioch, the day of prayer established by the pope "confirms the love of Francis for this troubled land ." In all the parishes of Syria and the Middle East preparations for the day of fasting and prayer have already begun. And pilgrimages are made to the special Marian shrines of Saidnaya (Damascus ) and Lebanon . The churches will remain open until midnight in Syria despite the bombings and war.

Damascus ( AsiaNews) - "The day of prayer announced by the Pope is an extraordinary gesture of peace, which confirms the great love of Francis for this troubled land . I invite all Catholics, Orthodox , Muslims and non-believers to pray with us for peace in Syria and the Middle East", Gregory III Laham, Melkite Greek - Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, of  all the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem tells AsiaNews commenting on the Day of Prayer for Syria led by the pope to be held worldwide on 7 September from 19.00 to midnight.

The prelate stresses that all the parishes of the Greek Melkite Church in the Middle East and around the world have already begun preparations to respond to the initiative". In Syria - continues Gregory III - we will keep our churches open until midnight to allow everyone (Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims) to pray. Vigils will be held wherever possible, even if there are fewer than 10 people participating. "

The Pope's initiative comes in the days when the United States, France and the Arab League countries are discussing preparations for an armed intervention in Syria. For Gregory III , the spiritual closeness of Francis and the Church is central to all the Syrian people - Christian and Muslim - who without support are likely to lose hope. The patriarch explained that on September 8, the feast of the Birth of Mary, very much felt in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Lebanon. " We entrust ourselves to the Virgin Mary - he concludes - to fasting and prayer.  There will be special celebrations at the shrine of Saidnaya (Damascus ) and in the various Marian places of worship around Lebanon." ( S.C. )

 


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See also
09/01/2013 VATICAN - SYRIA
Pope: a day of prayer for peace in Syria and in the world
09/07/2013 VATICAN
Day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria
09/02/2013 INDIA - VATICAN
Card. Gracias: Millions of Indian children in prayer with the Pope for Syria
by Card. Oswald Gracias
04/02/2006 IRAQ - VATICAN
Two days of prayer and fasting for peace and harmony in Iraq
04/02/2006 IRAQ - VATICAN
Chaldean patriarch thanks pope for sharing Iraq's "anguish and suffering"

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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