Belfast cathedral to host Day of Prayer for Syria

(AP)Syrians wave the Syrian revolutionary flag during a protest in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman, Jordan, to condemn the alleged poison gas attack on the suburbs of Damascus, Friday, August 23, 2013.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has prompted a number of prayer and worship events around the globe, with Belfast next to have a special Day of Prayer for the country locked in civil war.

St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast will be hosting a Day of Prayer for Syria on Wednesday 23 October.

An estimated quarter of Syrians have left their country in huge numbers for neighbouring countries. According to the Lebanese government, it has received nearly a million as refugees.

St Anne's Cathedral is inviting people from across Belfast and beyond to visit the cathedral at any hour of the day to pray and hear readings from a number of guest speakers.

To end the day, a Service of Reflection will take place with Psalms-based prayers for those affected by conflict and persecution.

The Reverend Canon Denise Acheson, who is helping to organise event, said: "Whether you can come for only five minutes or 50 minutes, please come to the cathedral and add your prayers before God for peace at this critical time."

In September, Pope Francis proclaimed September 7 as a "day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world". The day was supported by the worldwide church, including the Church of England and World Evangelical Alliance.

Since then numerous churches and organisations have held prayer-focused events.

Last month a Salvation Army church near Bristol dedicated a day to praying for peace and the people of Syria as part of its monthly 'prayer for a day' event.

Anglicans and Copts have also held special services in aid of Syria. On October 5, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom called for "prayerful solidarity at this painful time".