Filipino bishops urge prayers for Israel, Palestine

October 10, 2023 - 3:31 PM
Palestinians inspect the damages in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip October 10, 2023. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

The country’s Catholic bishops have joined calls for prayers for peace as a war raged between Israel and Palestine militants.

The bishops’ Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) stressed that prayer is both “urgent and necessary”.

“We pray for restraint and goodwill to reign in everybody’s heart and mind,” Bishop Ruperto Santos, ECMI vice chairman, said.

“We turn to God for the change of heart, for conversion, that they renounce violence, and give peace a chance. Conflicts are resolved through dialogue. Violence only begets violence,” he said.

The bishops also called on Filipinos in the conflict zone to take the necessary precautions.

“We appeal to our OFWs to keep themselves safe, and follow our government’s instructions,” Santos said.

Nearly 1,600 people have reportedly been killed on both sides since the Hamas militant group launched a surprise attack on southern Israel from Gaza on October 7.

Hamas also threatened to kill their hostages if Israeli airstrikes continue in the Gaza Strip without prior warnings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs reported at least six missing Filipinos amid the ongoing conflict. There are also no reports of Filipino casualties so far, according to the agency.