Unprecedented Peace Initiative Ending in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, AUG. 27, 2001 (Zenit.org).- An unprecedented peace initiative, led by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant church leaders in Jerusalem, will conclude Tuesday.

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Since Aug. 15, they have gathered in various churches in the afternoons to participate in a liturgy of the Word, according to the different rites, yet observing three common connotations: the intention for peace; the recitation of the Our Father; and St. Francis of Assisi´s famous invocation, «Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.»

The last gathering of this kind will be held Tuesday at the Notre Dame Pontifical Center. The participants are thus responding to John Paul II´s repeated appeals for the silencing of arms and the renewal of dialogue.

Some prayer meetings have been held in churches threatened by violence. On Aug. 17, for example, the meeting was held in the chapel of the Institute for Theological Research in Tantur, and on Aug. 21, in the Church of St. James in Beit Hanina. The former is near Bethlehem and the latter near Ramala, places where for almost a year there have been daily incidents of violence.

The religious leaders exhort Christians worldwide to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

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