Christians, Muslims agree on solidarity prayer for peace

INTERFAITH groups in Cagayan de Oro City gathered on Saturday, June 3, to agree on a common prayer, or solidarity prayer for peace, to be recited by both Muslims and Christians alike every day at 6 in the evening.

Monsignor Rey Monsanto, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro said the prayer, is not only a prayer for peace to come, but also a prayer for each individual to be peace makers or channels of peace.

Catholic and Islam faithfuls are urged to recite the prayer which has been translated into English, Cebuano, and Maranao dialect.

"This prayer makes us personally involved in achieving peace, by leading it. We made a prayer that is acceptable to all beliefs, and we wanted to make it short as it only mentions what we immediately need as of this moment," Monsanto said.

He said the prayer can also be used even after martial law is lifted and the Marawi siege ends soon, as achieving peace is "always a challenge every single day."

The text of the prayer is as follows, "Give us O God, the boldness to live in dialogue in the midst of divisions and conflicts and to be peace to all your creation. Amen."

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, meanwhile, called on the public to remain calm and be vigilant at the same time.

Ledesma also urged Kagay-anons to help the evacuees in these tough times.

"Magpabilin kita sa kalma, ug (Let us keep calm, and) at the same time, we ask them to be vigilant also, all the more we should activate ourselves to help those in need. It is in these times that we show them compassion and love," Ledesma said.

Ledesma added that the interfaith prayer is very symbolic and meaningful to all faith and beliefs.

Mohamad Gondarangin, president of the Oro Muslim Association, appealed to the government to put an end to the airstrikes.

He said the bombs being thrown in the city does not do anything with the terrorists but only destroyed their homes.

It is every Muslim's prayer, he said, that the government would listen and end the airstrikes.

"We have lost so much, we cannot afford to lose more of what is left in our beloved city," he said.

Gondarangin also reminds the soldiers and other law enforcement agencies to prevent abuses while the martial law is in effect.

While he supports the declaration, Gondarangin said he hopes that this martial law would be different than that in 1972 where rebels rose as abuses were also rising.

"We hope the government hastens the Bangsamoro framework because we believe that this could be one of the solutions to the problem we are facing now," he said.
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