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Commission urges Iraq focus on All Souls Day

The staff of Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission will gather this morning for an All Souls Day reading of some of the names of the civilians and soldiers killed since war broke out in March last year.

The Commission is encouraging Christians to remember the many civilians and soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq in recent years, and to pray for the dead and to advocate peaceful resolution of the conflict in Iraq.

Executive Officer Peter Arndt said that the ceremony is a symbolic act of solidarity with people who have suffered as a result of the violence of repression and war in Iraq.

"We remember the many Iraqis who died at the hands of the regime of Saddam Hussein, those who died because of the impact of international sanctions during the 1990's, those who were killed during the war last year, and those who have been slaughtered in the continuing conflict," Mr Arndt said.

"It is the children, women and men of Iraq and the ordinary soldiers from many nations who have suffered because of the oppression of Saddam Hussein and the pre-emptive military action of the USA and its coalition," he said.

"It is the surviving families who carry the great burden of the global community's incapacity to cultivate a culture of peace," he said.

Mr Arndt pointed to a new report published in the British medical journal The Lancet to emphasise the need for concerted action to build peace.

The report estimates that over 100000 civilians lost their lives since war erupted in Iraq last year.

"The world must find a better way to resolve conflict so that the tragedy and injustice of Iraq is not a continuing feature of world history," he said.

Remember Iraq Dead in Prayer and Action (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 1/11/04)

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane
Observing November feasts, pope prays for victims of terrorism (Catholic News Service 1/11/04)

2 Nov 2004