Concluding World Week for Peace which focuses on Palestine, Christian leaders held prayer meeting at Arafat-Indira Cultural Centre, Embassy of the State of Palestine at Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi on Thursday evening with a call for the peace in the State of Palestine, and an end to the dividing wall.
The theme of the prayer meeting was "God has broken down the dividing Wall," Scriptural readings from the Quran and the Bible were held at the beginning of the meeting. A documentary film was shown to the attendants, testimonies from Palestine Christians on how their lives have been affected by the diving wall constructed by the Israeli government were read out. Prayers were held and strong cases were made for the necessity of dismantling the wall.
The event is jointly organised by the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), The North West India Council of Churches (NWCC) and The National Council of YMCAs of India in co-operation with the Embassy of the State of Palestine.
Speaking the welcoming speech at the event, Mr. Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, Ambassador of the Palestine in India thanked Christians for their support for the peace in the state of Palestine. "Various churches and Christian organisations have supported us in our quest for full statehood, we thank them and we request you to continue to support us in our struggle," the ambassador said.
Mr. Samuel Jayakumar of NCCI gave an introduction about the World Week for Peace, it was followed by Mr. Ranjan Solomon from WCC's Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEC), who said that World Council of Churches has taken a huge initiative in breaking down the wall.
Speaking to Christian Today India, Mr. Solomon said, "I hope more and more churches will support the people of Palestine so that they too can have full freedom."
Bishop Collin C. Theodore, Bishop of the Diocese of Rajasthan, Church of North India who had the opening prayer said, "We reflect especially today on the scandalous wall separating the Palestinian people from family, friends, farmland, and neighbours. Let us open our minds and hearts to hear God's call to be peacemakers, advocates, and ministers of reconciliation."
Mr. Ch. R.P. Mani Kumar of the YMCA who led the prayer also led prayer confession. He called upon God, praying, "We call upon your mercy and your forgiving love. Lead us in a way that we may construct bridges!"
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI who spoke in length about how his first-hand experience in the security wall where he and his friends, a mere visitors to the Holy land were humiliated by the Israeli soldiers, uselessly detaining them for hours.
Dr. Gaikwad said, "In the history of Israel, they were the ones who sought God to break the Jericho wall, it was a wall the divided them; later on they constructed Jerusalem wall but that was for their security and safety not for discrimination and injustice. The wall must fall," he said.
Dr. Bishop Youhanan Mar Demetrios of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church led in prayer which Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah had offered.
The gathered leaders and Christians were later invited to create a worship space like a paper banner, a wall of cardboard bricks, or another artistic interpretation and also sticky papers were given to them where they can write their form of prayers, of poetry, of art, or of a personal letter. After the event, these messages will be mailed to sisters and brothers in Palestine.
This prayer event is also the conclusion of 'World Week for Peace' which was held from September 20-26, 2015.