In a effort to respond to Pope Francis’s call to pray for peace in Syria, hundreds of Catholics held a vigil for peace on Monday 31 October outside the Foreign Office and the Russian Embassy – and we’d like you to join us.
Cafod, joined with Pax Christi and the Council of Lutheran Churches in the UK to organise the vigils after Pope Francis asked the Catholic community around the world to join him in praying for peace in Syria. The Pope is travelling to Sweden for a joint Lutheran-Catholic ecumenical service to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation where, at an event in Malmö Arena for 10,000 people, he will lead a prayer written for the Caritas Internationalis campaign Syria: Peace is Possible.
On the same afternoon our staff and supporters joined Pax Christi and the Council of Lutheran Churches at simultaneous vigils in London. One will tookplace outside the Foreign Office, to remind the UK government of its responsibility to pursue peace in Syria, and another outside the Russian embassy, as Russian air strikes are thought to be hindering the chances of bringing parties to the table to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The candlelit vigils took place simultaneously at both locations from 4-5pm, timed to coincide with dusk falling and the end of the Papal event. You can use the prayer below to join us at that time to pray for peace in Syria.
While the UK government has a strong record of delivering humanitarian aid to the region, Cafod is calling on them to more, by condemning all indiscriminate attacks on civilian life, pressing all parties involved to uphold humanitarian law, and demanding immediate and unhindered access to humanitarian aid.
Daniel Hale, Head of Campaigns at CAFOD, said: “Peace is possible in Syria, but only if politicians on all sides engage in peaceful solutions and commit to getting all parties around the table to negotiate a settlement. We invite Catholics to join us in praying that the UK and Russian governments and all parties to this conflict are guided to do the right thing to prevent further loss of life.”
You can show solidarity with the vigils on social media using the hashtag #Pray4Syria or send messages to governments using #PeacePossible4Syria.
Pray with Cafod:
Lord our God, Father of all humanity; change the hearts of all peoples and their rulers so that peace may be established among the nations on the foundation of justice, love and righteousness.
May the Spirit of Peace descend upon the people of Syria and upon our world until all conflicts cease and peace reins on Earth. Amen