Anxious Kuwait Is Praying for Peace

KUWAIT CITY, MARCH 24, 2003 ( The highest representative of the Catholic Church in Kuwait expressed his sympathy for the sufferings of the Iraqi people caused by the war.

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Bishop Francis Micallef of the emirate’s capital, which has some 153,000 baptized Catholics, said: «We are sad to see what the population of Iraq is having to endure, after years of embargo and suffering.»

The apostolic administrator, who has led the Catholic community of Kuwait for 21 years, spoke of the war at Sunday Mass.

«We had prayed with the Pope and the Christian community before the war,» he said, according to the Misna missionary agency. «And we will continue to pray with the hope that this war will cause the least possible number of victims, and that peace and stability will be re-established as soon as possible.»

The bishop said that the people in Kuwait are tense because of the war in neighboring Iraq. Some of them wear gas masks around their necks in case of a chemical attack.

The vast majority of Catholics in Kuwait are foreigners, and their communities reflect a variety of rites — Latin, Syro-Malabar of India, Maronites of Lebanon, Copts and Armenians. The great majority work in the oil sector or in private homes as domestic help.

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