As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have issued a call for a global day of prayer and fasting tomorrow – Tuesday, 17th October.
They say: “Our beloved Holy Land has changed dramatically over the past week. We are witnessing a new cycle of violence with an unjustifiable attack against all civilians. Tensions continue to rise and more innocent and vulnerable people are paying the ultimate price as the dramatic levels of death and destruction in Gaza clearly show.”
The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum, who is a member of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches group, said: “We pray without ceasing for justice, reconciliation, peace, and an end to hatred and war. We also pray for God to change the hearts of all leaders and decision-makers in our countries and around the world, for we are in dire need of hearts that love, show mercy, and are willing to live in unity with others – hearts that respect human dignity and choose life rather than death.”
Archbishop Naoum added: “We therefore all upon all our congregations, institutions, and parishioner families to join with our sister Churches in the Land of the Holy One in observing this coming Tuesday [17th October] as a day of Fasting and Prayer for peace, reconciliation, and an end to the war. We suggest organising prayer services and/or joining with other congregations in their services so that we can pray together with one heart and spirit.”
The Anglican Communion’s Secretary General, Bishop Anthony Poggo, has endorsed the call for a day of prayer and fasting, and is calling on Anglicans around the world to take part, saying: “Archbishop Hosam, and his ecumenical colleagues in the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches group, are in the front line of the Christian response to the ongoing catastrophe in Israel and the Gaza Strip. I join them in calling on Christians around the world to join together in prayer and fasting on Tuesday, 17th October, in the words of Archbishop Hosam, ‘for justice, reconciliation, peace, and an end to hatred and war.’”
The Anglican Communion is an international family of 42 churches in more than 165 countries. The staff of its international secretariat will tomorrow mark the day during their weekly Eucharist service in St Andrew’s Chapel at their offices in London.