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21 September: Churches to pray for peace in Asia and the world


In 2005, for the second year running, churches representing over 560 million Christians world-wide are being invited to mark the UN International Day of Peace, 21 September, as an International Day of Prayer for Peace.


Launched in 2004 by the World Council of Churches in the framework of its Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace (2001-2010), the initiative calls on Christian churches all over the world to arrange for services or vigils on 21 September, as well as to include prayers for peace in their services on the Sunday before or after that day.


The theme for this year's International Day of Prayer for Peace is "Building communities of peace for all". Churches from Asia, the region chosen as the special focus of the Decade to Overcome Violence during 2005, have proposed this theme.


The theme conveys a "spirit of celebrating diversity," says Hope S. Antone, executive secretary for Faith, Mission and Unity of the Christian Conference of Asia. In that spirit, she adds, "we Asian Christians would no longer see the other as the mortal enemy, or as the unsaved doomed for hell, or as the poor heathen to convert. We would instead look at them as brothers, sisters, partners, whom God also loves, to whom God has also revealed truths, from whom we can learn about life, living and relating, and in whom we can also find the image of God."


Christian churches world-wide are therefore invited to include especially Christians and faith communities in that vast and diverse continent in their prayers of intercession on that day.


More information and prayer resources are available at