Pope urges prayers for peace wherever wars rage

Pope Francis invites the faithful to pray for peace daily and for all countries at war, recalling especially Ukraine, the Holy Land, and Sudan.

By Francesca Merlo

As has now become customary at the end of his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to the many nations suffering the horrors of war. He asked for prayers for peace "every day" and "wherever there is war".

Martyred Ukraine

In particular, on Wednesday, the Holy Father asked for prayers "for martyred Ukraine, which suffers so much". Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, over 9,600 civilians have been killed and over 17,500 injured.

Peace in the Holy Land

Pope Francis also asked for prayers for the Holy Land, "in Palestine and Israel". On 7 October, over 1,400 Israelis were killed in attacks perpetrated by Hamas. Since then, in retaliation airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, over 11,000 people have been killed and some 2,500 are missing under the rubble, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Never forget Sudan

Finally, the Holy Father turned his thoughts to Sudan, where an estimated 9,000 people have been killed and another 5.6 million have been forced to flee their homes due to a devastating war between two rival military factions that erupted in April. That civil war has been described as a "humanitarian catastrophe," with visible signs of ethnic cleansing, according to the UK's Minister for Africa. "Let us think about wherever there is war," concluded the Pope, reminding all the faithful that sadly, "there are so many wars!" "Let us pray for peace: Every day, take some time to pray for peace. We desire peace," said the Pope. “Let us pray for peace: Every day, take some time to pray for peace. We desire peace.”