Peace in the Middle East and the world: the IYAB youth's online vigil

A response to Pope Francis' appeal


“Since he is not the God of disorder but of peace”. This verse from St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians inspired the prayer vigil for the Holy Land, organized online on the evening of October 21st by the youth of the IYAB (International Youth Advisory Body), an advisory body of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. This was an initiative open to all, and a spontaneous idea generated by the young members of the IYAB, which was attended by 50 young people from more than 20 countries, including the Holy Land.

Following-up on Pope Francis' call for peace

"We asked ourselves what we could do to follow-up on Pope Francis' call for peace", explained Émile Abou Chaar, a Lebanese youth from IYAB, in an interview with Vatican News, "and together we decided to organize this prayer. Many people had asked me, since I am from Lebanon and I know the situation in the Middle East, how we could do something to help in this situation, be in union with the Pope and reflect. And the best thing we can do is to all be in solidarity and in spiritual communion, trying to help make the world more fraternal, together, for peace in the Middle East."

To pray intensely for peace, for the conversion of hearts

"There is great confusion and so much that we cannot understand about what is happening”, points out Émile once again, "but what we can do is to respond to Pope Francis' call to pray intensely for peace, for the conversion of hearts, and to make ourselves part of the same human community. War does not solve any problems, rather it amplifies them in the most negative way. I personally have contacts with people who are in the Holy Land on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Everyone is a victim of what is going on because they did not choose this reality. They are authentically scared and do not understand. They can only hope that it will be resolved quickly. We know many religious communities there, such as the Head of Youth Ministry in Palestine. There is truly a strong communion, and this communion and solidarity come from the same people who are the people of God”.