Damascus/Hasaka, SANA – Marking the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven, Church bells in Syria and Europe tolled on Saturday for peace in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East.
The bells tolled at churches and holy places in a call for prayer and fraternity among people.
The announcement of the tolling of bells came yesterday in a letter by Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Gregorios III Laham, who said that church bells in Europe will toll on Saturday at noon (Syria time) for peace in Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East, beginning in Lyon, France.
He noted that this gesture came from an initiative by Archbishop of Lyon Philippe Barbarin, who said that this will be a call for prayer, friendship, fraternity, and seeking support.
Patriarch Laham added that Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, also supported this initiative.
Chaired by Patriarch Laham,a mass and a religious celebration were held today at the Orthodox Church of Dormition (Saydet El Niyah Church) in al-Zaitoun quarter in Damascus to celebrate the feast day.
He said in a message “Let the bells of amity, faith, hope and peace be heard in all parts of the world and the major capitals in the East and the West.”
“Let all the world presidents hear the bells resonating with yearning for peace and love instead of violence, terrorism, killing, destruction, blood and wars,” Laham added, calling on all the presidents of the Christian countries to be peace-makers and to work for extinguishing the blazing fire of wars in the Middle East, mainly in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
In a relevant context, thousands of the residents of Qamishli city in the northeastern Hasaka province participated in a celebration organized by the Syriac Orthodox Church on the occasion.
The participants affirmed their adherence to their homeland, showing confidence that Syria will definitely achieve victory over terrorism.
On Friday, a marathon titled “Hope” was organized by the church in celebration of the occasion in which 200 young men of Qamishli city took part.
H. Zain/ H. Said/Barry