Signatories urge perpetrators to shun inhuman acts of violence.
India/MIRZAPUR/ Ahmedabad/Gujarat- HG Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan, will lead the Indian Orthodox Churches in Gujarat, on holding special prayers for peace in Iraq and the Middle East, on August 17 and 18, 2014.
Dr Mar Yulios was part of the signatory on behalf of the Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights (GUCFHR) along with Archbishop S Fernandes SJ (Catholic Archdiocese of Gandhinagar), Bishop Sylvans Christian (CNI Diocese of Gujarat), and Bishop Thomas Macwan (Catholic Diocese of Ahmedabad).
The GUCFHR which held a meeting at Bishop’s House, Mirzapur, on August 11, 2014, in the presence of bishops, church elders and representatives of the Christian Community in Gujarat decided that “special prayers for peace in Iraq and the Middle East will be held in all churches all over Gujarat on August 17 and 18 (Saturday and Sunday).
The GUCFHR unequivocally condemned the brutal killings and attacks by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) on Christians and other minorities in Iraq. The attacks on Palestinians in Gaza were also condemned by the GUCFHR.
The GUCHFR also re-echoed the words and appeals from the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and of His Holiness Pope Francis that, ‘You cannot make war in the name of God’, and urged the perpetrators to shun these inhuman acts of violence immediately.
The GUCFHR also called upon all world leaders and all men and women of goodwill to do all they can to ensure lasting peace in these zones of conflict.
The GUCFHR also expressed their sympathy, solidarity and support to all victims of this violence. This circular will be read out at all services in all churches of Gujarat on August 17 and 18.
The other members of GUCFHR are: The Church of North India (Gujarat Diocese), Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Catholic Diocese of Ahmedabad, Catholic Diocese of Baroda, Catholic Diocese of Rajkot, The Gujarat Regional Conference of the Methodist Church in India, Salvation Army Indian (Western), Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church (Gujarat Conference), Syrian Orthodox Church and Christian Missionary Alliance of India (Gujarat Synod).