Prayers for peace follow ISIS attacks

Church leaders have offered their prayers for the victims of terror attacks last week in Istanbul, Baghdad and Dhaka. In his Sunday Angelus Prayer from St Peter’s Square Pope Francis said: “I offer my closeness to the families of all the people killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Dhaka, and in that, which took place in Baghdad.Let us pray together,” the said, “let us pray together for them — for all the dead — and let us ask the Lord to convert the hearts of all those blinded by hatred.” On the night of 1 July Islamist terrorists killed 20 people including US and Italian citizens when they attacked a restaurant in the capital of Bangladesh.  A 12-hour standoff then ensued which ended when Bangladesh security forces stormed the cafe, killing six attackers and capturing a suspected terrorist. Two policemen were killed in the assault. “No sane person and no religion can tolerate such a horrendous massacre. Good Muslims now need to take strong stance to save Islam from the grip of terrorism,” said Bishop Gervas Rozario, chairman of the Bangladesh Catholic bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission.  On 3 July 2016 more than 120 people were killed in a car bombing in a predominantly Shia neighborhood of Baghdad. On 28 June 2016 43 people, including 19 foreigners, were killed in a suicide attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. “Our hearts cry out in prayer for the victims and families of the terrible attack in Istanbul,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, said on Twitter. “In prayer and faith we also commit to resisting the evil of violence and religious extremism.” The Archbishop of Canada, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, said: “It appears that airports are becoming targets for such crimes against humanity. Hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in long security lines, huge departure lounges, and massive arrivals areas are easy prey for those who are intent on terrorising and killing innocent people, intimidating governments, and threatening world security. As many of you know, I fly a lot in the work of my ministry, and I never pass through an airport without a prayer for all who are travelling. Once on board and settled in my seat, I pray particularly for the captain, crew, and all on-board the flight that we may know travelling mercies.” Archbishop Hiltz asked Christians to join him “in praying for all who travel and for all whose work is ensuring their security and safety”. 

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