The Council of Laity of the Philippines or Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (SLP) asked all Christians to pray together for peace in the Holy Land and safety for people in the Gaza Strip who are caught in the ongoing fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
“We, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, appeal to our brothers and sisters in the Diocesan Councils of the Laity, Ecclesiastical Communities, National Lay Organizations and all Catholic lay people, to join us in praying for Peace in the Holy Land. The attack on the people in that land is shocking and surprising, and we need to pray harder now for an end to the conflict, and a pathway to peace,” according to SLP.
The SLP also joined Pope Francis in his call for prayer for peace and unity in Israel.
“It’s also true that we “pray with one heart and one soul with Pope Francis.” “We are sure that our prayers will be heard, and there will be peace,” the SLP said.
Earlier, the Holy Father asked the militant group Hamas to free the harmless people they have been holding in the war. About 150 people are thought to be being held hostage by the group in Gaza since the war started on October 7, 2023.
The official report from the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv says that 23 of the 29 Filipinos who were reported lost in the area are now safe and in the care of the embassy.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has also said that they will continue to pray for the safety of all Filipinos, including the over 30,000 Overseas Filipino Workers who work in the area, as well as for peace and security in Israel and Palestine.
Filipino Catholics living in Israel had already asked their fellow Filipinos to pray for their safety in the Holy Land. This call for unity prayer comes after that. (Luis Angelo Sta. Maria/Volunteer Writer/San Felipe Neri Parish)