Children from Gazan Church to Join Couterparts in Vatican to Pray for Peace

Children from Gazan Church to Join Couterparts in Vatican to Pray for Peace

Vatican City - Around 7,000 children from 84 different countries are set to gather in Rome on November 6 for a special event titled "Learning from Children." This event, organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Culture and Education, aims to highlight the purity, hope, and dreams that children bring to a world marked by division and conflict.

Pope Francis revealed the plans for this gathering during the Angelus prayer on October 1. The young participants, aged between 7 and 12, will have the opportunity to share their hopes and concerns for the future with the Pope.

Despite being in a besieged region, children from the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza will join their counterparts in Rome to pray for peace. Sister María del Pilar Llerena Vargas, a Peruvian Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word serving in the parish, recorded a brief video message in which she expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for his ongoing prayers. She also requested that the children gathering in Rome offer their prayers, particularly for the children enduring the conflict in the Holy Land.

Since the outbreak of the war, Pope Francis has consistently shown his support and prayers for the Christian community in Gaza, a community primarily consisting of Greek Orthodox members, numbering around 1,000.

The Holy Family Parish in Gaza is currently providing shelter to approximately 700 displaced people, many of whom are Christians. Despite close calls with bombs falling nearby, the church itself has remained unharmed.

However, children and women in Gaza continue to be disproportionately affected by the ongoing hostilities between Israeli forces and Hamas. UN agencies have warned that they bear a higher number of casualties and face reduced access to healthcare services.

UN agencies, including UNICEF, UNRWA, UNFPA, and WHO, have made an urgent appeal for a humanitarian pause to address the pressing medical and humanitarian needs in the region.

Despite some medical supplies being dispatched to Gaza, the situation demands much more in terms of assistance. Notably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected calls for a humanitarian pause, despite pleas from U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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