Religious Leaders To Pray for Peace

VATICAN CITY?Pope John Paul II, concerned about the continued impact on humanity of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, invited representatives of the world’s religions to come to Assisi, Italy, on Jan. 24 for a daylong prayer for peace.

In his weekly appearance Sunday at St. Peter’s Square, the pontiff invited leaders of all faiths, but particularly Christians and Muslims, to “proclaim before the world that religion should never become a motive for conflict, hatred and violence.”

“In these historic moments, humanity needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of hope,” the pope said.

During his appearance, the 81 year-old pontiff also asked Catholics to fast on Dec. 14 and pray to God for justice and an end to the many conflicts in the world.

He pointed out that the date coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, the monthlong holiday of fasting and purification for Muslims.