Prayers for Syria

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has called for prayers in support of all those affected by the conflict in Syria.

The call was made together with Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Catholic Church's international affairs committee.

They asked for prayers that access would be granted to aid organisations so that humanitarian assistance could be provided to those in need.

Christians were also being asked to pray for political leaders and that the postponed Geneva 2 summit on Syria would took place soon.

"The urgent challenge facing the parties will be in creating conditions for a ceasefire and eventually a settlement that respects the dignity, fundamental freedoms and rights of all Syrians," they said.

"The suffering that Syrians endure is growing not only through violence but also the economic hardships faced by increasing numbers in that country. The summer heat will bring further extreme hardship to those living in refugee camps."

A special Mass is being held for the Syrian community in Westminster Cathedral on Friday.

The Catholic Church has published this prayer for peace:

O God of peace, who are peace itself
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and so be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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