Two Irish bishops are calling on the faithful to pray for Christian families in the Holy Land affected not only by war but the most violent winter experienced by the region in decades.
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly and Bishop Ray Browne, who went to the Holy Land last week as part of a delegation promoting peace and respect for human dignity, said they were deeply affected by the living conditions of people in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
“We have all seen the images on the television news and read the column inches in newspapers and magazines but when you are there in person – meeting families whose lives have been devastated, who don’t have a roof to put over their heads, basic food to put on the table, and are witnessing children dying of exposure – you very quickly come to realise just how deeply distressing the situation is for the people of Gaza,” they said in a statement released by the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
The prelates further said that the faithful should open their hearts to the cries of the people in Gaza and other areas, who are suffering amid the devastation surrounding them.
“We encourage Irish faithful to continue to pray for the suffering people of Gaza, specifically the diminishing Christian community which is caught in the crossfire of conflict. We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their on-going and generous support for Trócaire’s work in the Holy Land and, while acutely conscious of the challenges facing the budget of many Irish families, we humbly ask that this support would continue,” they added.