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Christian leaders in Jerusalem call for peace, urge prayers for refugees

Catholic World News - December 24, 2013

After offering praise to God for the mystery of the Incarnation, the patriarchs and other heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem called for peace in their annual Christmas message.

“The world into which Jesus came was not altogether different from the current situation here in the Middle East where we find ourselves today,” they said. “Violence is seen as the only way to impose order and achieve security by some or as the only way to resist oppression and injustice by others. We firmly believe that violence is not the way and that the Jesus as the Prince of Peace came to show us not only how to be reconciled to God, but how to be reconciled to one another.”

“In the first months of his life the child Jesus had to be taken by Mary and Joseph to Egypt as a refugee seeking a place of safety,” they added. “This brings to our minds the many hundreds of thousands of people in this region who have felt compelled to make similar journeys as refugees, leaving behind their homes and all that is familiar to them in search of a more secure future. We invite you at this Christmas season to pray especially for them, for all the agencies of support which are sustaining them and for the leaders of our world as they seek to bring about a situation where the seeking of refuge will not be necessary.”

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