World religions to gather for prayer and reflection

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

Prayer for Peace initiative
The meeting is inspired by the historic interreligious encounter wanted by St. John Paul II in 1986. PHOTO: ImageCollab

Pope Francis will participate in an international Prayer for Peace initiative titled ‘No One Is Saved Alone – Peace and Fraternity’ along with other leaders of world religions on 20 October. Saint Egidio, a Rome-based community, is preparing to host the 34th meeting in the spirit of Assisi, a global symbol of peace, and the ‘Fratelli tutti’, the third encyclical letter on fraternity and social friendship written by Pope Francis. Religious leaders who will take part in the event include Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, as well as Orthodox and Protestant representatives in the Basilica of Saint Mary, the designated church of the city council of Rome in Ara Coeli. Further participants include Jews in the Synagogue of Rome, as well as Muslims, Buddhists and representatives of Eastern religions in the Capitoline Museums, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome. The meeting is inspired by the historic interreligious encounter wanted by St. John Paul II in 1986. In Pope Francis’ Fratelli tutti he says different religions based on their respect for each human person as a creature called to be a child of God, contribute significantly to building fraternity and defending justice in society. The pope says in the letter that in a difficult moment in history, because of the pandemic but also because of old and new wars in progress, such as the one that has lasted 10 years in Syria or the current one in Nagorno-Karabakh, a solemn moment of reflection, prayer and encounter will be offered to the world.

It will come from the heart of Europe with a message of hope for the future in the name of the greatest good, which is that of peace. The interreligious ceremony in the Capitoline foresees the participation of many international names such as Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission and Sergio Mattarella, president of Italy.

A minute of silence in memory of the victims of the pandemic and all wars will conclude the event. The event will take place in respect of anti-COVID norms and will be live-streamed in 8 languages through the community’s various web and social media channels and everyone is invited to participate in the online event.

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