The Common Good
March 2009

Gaza's Peace Road?

by Rose Marie Berger, Jeannie Choi | March 2009

As reports of the violence in Gaza crowded the news­wires, Christians living on both sides of the fighting demonstrated a more radical way to peace: through prayer. On Jan. 4, a day of prayer was honored by Christians in the Holy Land as church leaders called their congregants to pray for an end to the violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Mutual words of encouragement were also read during church services on either side of the conflict. “I am asking God for mercy and pray that the light of Christ­ianity continues to shine in Gaza,” wrote Manuel Musallam, pastor of the Catholic parish in Gaza City, in a message to congregants who gathered for the special Mass at St. Stephen Church in Jerusalem. Earlier in the day, at St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem, congregant Victor Zough­bi prayed, “not just for the people in Gaza but also for those in Tel Aviv,” Zoughbi told Catholic News Service. Father Michel Sabbah, the retired Catholic archbishop of Jerusalem, also delivered a homily on the day of prayer. “We put before God our tragedy, because the tragedy of Gaza is a tragedy for all,” Sabbah told Sojourners. “God shows the way of peace. Justice is the way of peace.”

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