Australia’s Catholic Bishops have called for lasting peace in the Holy Lands, urging all the faithful to pray for an end to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a statement on Friday, saying they joined with the Australian Catholic community in expressing their grief and anguish over the suffering of people in the Holy Lands.
“These are not simply news stories or television dramas: they are the stories of real people. All are children of God,” the statement said.
“We pray for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and hold them and their suffering in our hearts.
“Remembering the long history that has led to the current violence in the Middle East is the first step to finding a way beyond the violence to a just end of the conflict.
“Peace can come only from justice.”
Reports suggest at least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, with more than 1.5 million people displaced as a result of the war. The vast majority of casualties on both sides have been civilians.
The Australian Bishops issued a call to pray for people of faith, that a peaceful resolution could be found to the conflict.
“We call people of faith to pray with us for a lasting peace and the triumph of human dignity,” the Bishops said in their statement.
“As we turn to God in prayer, we also encourage acts of charity and generosity to provide for the material needs of people who are isolated and facing the greatest hardship. The need is urgent.
“Properly administered aid could mean the difference between life and death for innocent civilians, and so we call for immediate access for humanitarian agencies.
“The sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam share a longing for peace and harmony, and this we seek together as one human family.”
Caritas Australia is providing humanitarian support for those affected by the war, while Aid to the Church in Need is helping the Christian minority in Gaza affected by the war.
To donate to Caritas Australia, click here.
To donate to Aid to the Church in Need, click here.