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Christians Pray Mideast Truce Will Hold

By Michelle Vu

Christian Post Reporter

Day three of the Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire is proceeding without violence, although top leaders and the world community continue to doubt whether Hezbollah will surrender its arms or even withdraw from the Lebanon-Israel border.

Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces on Tuesday, top diplomats from France and Turkey arrived in Beirut on Wednesday to discuss the deployment of 15,000 international troops to south Lebanon .
As diplomacy continues in hope to secure lasting peace after the 34-day bloody conflict, Christians are calling for prayer during this sensitive period.
“Although tensions in the region have eased, Christians should continue to pray for peace,” said the general director of U.K.-based Evangelical Alliance, Joel Edwards on Tuesday. “We commend the Archbishop of York’s initiative in fasting and praying for peace, and encourage other Christians to commit themselves to pray for the Middle East .”
The Archbishop of York John Sentamu – the second-highest ranking cleric in the Church of England and the Church of England’s first black archbishop– began on Sunday a week of prayer and fasting aimed at encouraging peace in the Middle East.
“We have an opportunity to stand up and be counted with those in Israel , Lebanon and Palestine and all over the world who seek after peace,” said Sentamu on Sunday to The Associated Press. The archbishop will lead prayers for peace throughout this week and encourages people in Britain to join him.
Meanwhile, World Relief – the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelical (NAE) – is supporting local Lebanese churches offering food, water and medicines. WR reports the need for sustaining resources and prayer is overwhelming.
“Pray for a sustained peace. Pray for leaders, survivors on the ground, and the international policymakers,” urged World Relief in its cease-fire report.
The Rev. Bud Heckman, executive director of Religions for Peace USA released a statement on Tuesday encouraging religious groups to pray for the uneasy truce between Hezbollah and Israel to persevere. Religions for Peace USA has partnered with the National Council of Churches (NCC) USA in the Mideast call for prayers.
“We are encouraging religious communities to pray for peace as they gather in their own communities,” said in a released statement by NCC. “We are also encouraging religious communities to join with others in common events of witness for peace.”
Other Christian groups in Lebanon such as World Vision, Action by Churches Together members, Caritas are busy distributing food and providing medical care.