Syria imbroglio: Pakistani Christians pray for world peace

In response to the Pope’s call, large numbers of Christians observe day of fasting.

Naeem Sahoutara September 08, 2013
In response to the Pope’s call, large numbers of Christians observe day of fasting. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Just a week ago, on September 1, Pope Francis made a global appeal, asking everyone -- regardless of religion or location -- to fast and pray on Saturday for world peace, and particularly for peace in Syria.

As the Pope raised his hands in prayer, so did many Pakistani Christians. Scores of men, women and children turned up to attend prayers and fasted with gusto on the day, barely 24 hours before Catholics were set to observe Mother Mary’s birthday celebrations.

Yearning for concord

An unusually large congregation was seen at evening mass at St Jude’s Church, whose premises house a grotto dedicated to Mother Mary.

“On the call of the pontiff for peace all over the world, particularly in Syria, people have observed a fast, and we’re offering a special prayer,” said Father Thomas Gulfam, the ageing parish priest at St Jude’s Church in the North Nazimabad neighbourhood. “If America attacks Syria, it might be the start of a third world war. May God save us from this.”

Fifteen-year-old Kainat, too, observed the fast, and attended the special prayer.

“I’m fasting for peace because the Pope has asked for it,” she declared simply.

Catholic churches throughout the country appealed to community members to participate in the global initiative.

“The attack on Syria might lead to a world war on communal basis, as the Muslim states might go with Syria and Western states may support America,” said a worried Father Gulfam. “So today we request Mother Mary to intercede for peace, too.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2013.


Siddhu | 8 years ago | Reply

Please someone tell Father Gulfam, that some Muslim countries like Saudi and Kuwait have proposed to pay for American strikes on Syria.

Erin Pascal | 8 years ago | Reply

I hope that the war in Syria will not stem to a more complicated situation between nations. May God hear our prayers and may he resolve this conflict without further bloodshed and children being caught in between. There are wars that can be won in peaceful means and I hope that this is one of them.

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