Church Leaders’ Grieved and Deeply Concerned’ Over Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Church leaders in the UK have taken to social media to share their prayers for the situation between the Holy Land and Palestine. On Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas started the deadliest attack against Israel in decades. An unknown number of Israeli soldiers and civilians have been captured as hostages. According to Israel Defence Forces, the group fired over 3,000 rockets. In retaliation, the nation’s military said it’s struck more than 400 targets in Gaza with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing the country will now stop supplying electricity, fuel and goods to Gaza. In a joint statement, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said they are “grieved and deeply concerned” at the violence in the region and “unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas”. “We pray for those mourning, those who are injured, and all those fearing for their safety. We pray for restraint on all sides, and renewed efforts towards peace for all.

“The way forward must be for both sides to build confidence in a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognised borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security and with peace and justice,” they added. The Coptic Orthodox Bishop of London and Papal Legate to the UK, Archbishop Angaelos wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) that he is praying for “peace and healing” and urged people to not “lose sight of the real human cost of hundreds who have died, and many thousands bereaved and fearful on both sides”. The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Nichols, also shared his prayers on X. He said: “Having visited Gaza on two occasions, my heart goes out to its people who will now bear the consequences of the attack on Israel by Hamas militants. Violence is never a solution. Retribution is never a contribution to peace. Please pray today for that peace.

“Pray for all who have lost their lives and for the immediate release of those taken hostage. Pray especially for the small but active Catholic community in Gaza City who at this moment will be reaching out courageously to their neighbours, trying to offer shelter and support.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the UK “stands unequivocally with Israel”.

Source: Premier Christian News

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