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Historic Day of Prayer for Peace in the World


Imams, patriarchs, monks and rabbis from around the world joined Pope John Paul II for a day-long prayer for peace following the events of September 11.

Concerned by the impact of the U.S. terrorist attacks, the pope invited representatives of world religions -- particularly Christians and Muslims -- on Thursday to the hillside town of Assisi to meditate and speak out about the need for an end to war and terrorism.

Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Roman Catholic Franciscan order, and the saint most closely associated with peace.

It was the third such prayer day organised by the 81-year-old Pope during his 23-year pontificate, designed to reinforce the message that conflict, murder and violence should never be carried out in the name of God.

The others -- also held in Assisi -- were a daylong fast and prayer against nuclear war in 1986 and a rally for Balkan peace in 1993.

The ceremony was a "pilgrimage of hope" for participants "following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, a prophet and witness of peace," the pope said on Wednesday in his weekly general audience.

Representatives of 12 religions -- including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists and followers of tribal religions -- took part. The event has generated a large amount of coverage in the media around the world. See the links below for some of the best of it.

SOURCES - FULL STORIES
VIS: Welcoming Address
VIS: Shadows will not be dissipated with weapons but with light
CNN: Pope's Assisi prayers for peace
Ananova: Pope rallies religious leaders for world peace
BBC: Pope leads world prayer day


25-Jan-02