An ecumenical group of church leaders in Jerusalem have called for a day of prayer and fasting around the world in response to the escalating conflict in the Middle East.
The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem have urged Christians all over the world to fast and pray with them on Tuesday in response to the humanitarian catastrophe afflicting the Holy Land.
“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 level and death and destruction in Gaza clearly show,” the recent statement from the church read.
“in support of all those who have suffered in this war and of all the families reeling from the violence, we call upon the people of our congregations and all those of goodwill around the world to observe a Day of Prayer and Fasting on Tuesday, October 17th,” It added.
The group has also urged all parties to de-escalate the conflict in order to protect the lives of civilians.
The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Hosam Naoum who is a member of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches says they are praying “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.”
The Anglican Communion and The World Council of Churches have also joined the call.
On Monday the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo said he “echoed” Hosam’s call for the pursuit of “peaceful and diplomatic solutions” to achieve a two-state solution.
He added: “and the realization of the dream of both Israelis and Palestinians to enjoy living in freedom, Justice, and peace.”
Hamas attacks on Israel have resulted in at least 1,400 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries to date. Israel responded with retaliatory airstrikes on the region, which is home to more than two million people, and at least 2, 800 people have died as a result.