Tuesday, October 5, 2010
ASIA: JERUSALEM MILLIONS PRAY FOR PEACE IN JERUSALEM
Asia News report: The initiative, promoted by a Protestant organization, was attended by 400 Christians in the holy city. The mayor of Jerusalem, argues that "the heart of the world" must be open so that everyone is free to practice their faith, and that it must remain the undivided capital of Israel
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 400 Christians, last Sunday, were in Jerusalem, to physically represent the 300 million people around the world who participated in the International Day of Prayer for peace of Jerusalem.
The initiative was first launched in 2002 by Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings Ministries which aims to create relationships and bridges of hope across the world. The Day calls for global prayer uniting the Christian liturgical calendar with the biblical Hebrew calendar. According to organizers ANS, the Day "has quickly become the biggest moment of centered prayer in Israel's history," as each year sees the participation of over 300 thousand churches in 175 countries.
This year, the event was held on the Haas Promenade, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. The city's mayor, Nir Barkat, in his address, affirmed the importance of united Jerusalem. "Jerusalem - he said - is special to 3.0 billion people of faith in the world. No other city in the world is a destination that fills our hearts like Jerusalem. My mission for the city is to return it to its role of 2000 to 3000 years ago and to welcome people from around the world, to explore our ancient past and build our modern future".
To do this Barkat insisted Jerusalem must be kept open to people of all faith to enjoy and to freely practice their religion. He pointed out that during Ramadan this year, over 200 thousand Muslims freely traveled to the city in order to visit the Temple Mount to pray. "As mayor, I'm committed to maintaining that. This is not trivial,” he emphasized. “Jerusalem must keep reunited, undivided and be the sovereign capital of Israel. It is the heart of the world. You can't divide the heart,” he continued, “I read the Bible, and it is very clear who the capital of Jerusalem is for.”
Other Israeli leaders, pastors and important rabbis, such as Rabbi Shlomo Riskin joined Christians to pray to the Almighty for the holy city.