12/23/2011, 00.00
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Msgr Martinelli: Christmas, a sign of peace in a Libya still at war

The Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli states that revenge attacks are still in act in the country between rebels and loyalists to the Gaddafi family. For security reasons, Christmas celebrations will be held in the late afternoon. The visit to the Filipino Catholics of Misurata, the only foreigners in Libya for the entire period of the war.
Tripoli (AsiaNews) - "Christmas is the opportunity to bring the message of peace to this tormented land, a peace which must be witnessed in our daily lives, through action and prayer”, says Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, speaking to AsiaNews. The prelate will visit the Filipino Catholic community of Misurata today, formed mainly by nurses and doctors. They are among the few foreigners who remained in Libya for the entire period of the war.

Arch. Martinelli, said that after Gaddafi’s death, the situation has improved, but the country is still a victim of revenge attacks between the rebels and the tribes still loyal to the Gaddafi family. "The Church serves the Christian community and the Libyan people - he says - we priests are trying to move with a certain freedom, without being blocked by the risks and concerns." The bishop explained that for safety reasons, the Christmas celebrations will take place in the late afternoon. "In the period of Advent – he continued - many Christians participated in celebrations, despite the fear."

For Mgr. Martinelli, Libya will know calm again only when peace returns, but the people of Libya seem willing to bring the country back to normalcy. "(SC)

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