The Archbishop of Liverpool, and Vice President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, has called for a silent prayer vigil to be held this evening, from 9pm until midnight in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King to pray for peace in the Middle East. The Archbishop has personal experience of life in the region through his work with the Co-ordination of Bishops' Conferences in support of the Church of the Holy Land and has only recently returned from leading a pilgrimage to the area. Archbishop Kelly says: "the situation in the Middle East is deteriorating rapidly and we have to remember that violence can never be the solution. We on Merseyside can recall the decision of the Christian Churches to, first of all, walk together and then to reach out to those of other faiths; we must now open our hearts in prayer to be willing to enter the hearts of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East where help is so deeply needed. Ours will be a silent vigil and all are welcome to attend to spend even a few minutes in prayer for peace in the Middle East." The Archbishop's call to prayer follows a statement released by the Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Nasrallah Peter Sfeir which says: 'The tragic events of recent days give us pause to pray and ask the Lord's help. I am very concerned and anxious. As we have said in the past and reassert again today, we are against all aggression wherever it comes from. We have known war first hand on our own soil. We have had enough. We need the help and support of all our friends in the world. We are determined to work together, through dialogue, for peace and justice in the region." All are welcome to attend to spend even a few minutes in prayer for peace in the Middle East.
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