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Libya: Churches hope for peaceful resolution to crisis

Bishop Giovanni Martinelli

Bishop Giovanni Martinelli

The Apostoli Vicar of Tripoli said  today he is more hopeful for peace in Libya now that a ceasefire has been declared. Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli said: “The ceasefire is the first step, then the two parties have to find some way of communicating to arrive at agreement on the transition.”
 
South African President Jacob Zuma, along with three other African leaders and representatives of the African Union, met Colonel Gadaffi yesterday, 10 April, in Tripoli. The delegation presented a peace plan which calls for: an immediate ceasefire, an end to the obstacles posed by the regime to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Libyan people, protection for foreign citizens, and dialogue between the Government and the rebels in Tripoli on political issues.

“The Christian Churches present in Libya want to support this process,” said Bishop Martinelli. “I just returned from an important meeting with the World Islamic Call Society, at which, together with the different Christian communities in Tripoli, we expressed the desire to develop a joint communiqué calling for the crisis to be resolved soon and for an end to the bloodshed.

"By tomorrow we will draft the text and deliver it on Wednesday, 13 April, to the United Nations. Our partners have expressed deep appreciation for this step by the Christian Churches.”

There are five Christian communities in Tripoli: Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox Church, the Uniting and the Anglican Church.

“I want to express my thanks for the freedom with which we can continue to follow our community, even if it is reduced to a minimum,” said Bishop Martinelli.

“Yesterday we celebrated two Masses which were attended by a number of faithful. Now we are preparing for Holy Week, hoping that Easter is really a sign of peace and reconciliation,” says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.

Source: Fides