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September 24, 2021

Pope led peace vigil for Syria as protesters across the world rallied

John Kerry compared the situation to the 1938 Munich Agreement.
Romanian Orthodox faithful also prayed for Peace on Sunday, on the occasion of the the birthday of the Holy Virgin Mary.

Tens of thousands of people filled St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for a four-hour Syria peace vigil late Saturday, answering Pope Francis’ call for a grassroots cry for peace that was echoed by Christians and non-Christians alike in Syria and around the world. The Vatican estimated that about 100,000 took part in the gathering at the square, making it one of the largest rallies in the West against proposed U.S.-led military action in Syria following the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus. Francis spent most of the vigil in silent prayer, but during his speech he pleaded for peace and denounced those who are “captivated by the idols of dominion and power,” and destroy God’s creation through war. “This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!” he said. “May the noise of weapons cease!” the Roman Catholic religious leader said. “War always marks the failure of peace. It is always a defeat for humanity.”
The Romanian clergy and the Orthodox believers on Sunday, when they celebrated the birthday of the Holy Virgin Mary, also prayed for peace in Syria, Egypt and in other parts of the Middle East, following an appeal made by Patriarch Daniel, Agerpres reports. He urged ‘all hierarchs, priests, nuns and believers to multiply their prayers for peace’.
While in Paris on Sunday, John Kerry, has said that many countries were prepared to take part in US-led military strikes against the Syrian regime for an alleged chemical attack near a Damascus suburb last month, Al Jazeera reports Outlining his case in Paris in French and English, Kerry compared the situation to the 1938 Munich Agreement, which ceded control of part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. “This is our Munich moment, this is our chance to join together and pursue accountability over appeasement…,” he said. “This is not the time to be silent spectators to slaughter.”
The carefully worded message from foreign ministers of 28 EU governments stopped short of endorsing possible US and French military action against Syria ahead of the report, which France’s president said could come by the end of the week. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to back him in launching an attack on Syria, as diplomatic pressure grew on the US to wait for the UN report. Fresh from a European trip in which he failed to forge a consensus among G20 leaders, Obama plunged into a campaign on radio and television to try to convince a sceptical US public and Congress of the need for a military strike. In his weekly address, President Obama warned of the dangers of turning “a blind eye” to chemical attacks.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has backed the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has insisted that UN should be involved in resolution of the conflict. Russia, backed by China, has used veto power three times to block UN resolutions condemning Assad’s government.
President Barack Obama has asked the US Congress to approve the use of force in Syria, and on Saturday announced that he will be doing a series of television interviews ahead of a nationwide televised address tomorrow.  A final vote in the US Senate is expected at the end of the coming week. A US House of Representatives vote is likely the week of September 16.
Protests were held across the globe on Saturday to speak out against a US-led strike on Syria, as world leaders ask Washington to wait for the results of a UN report before taking military action, Russia Today reports. Thousands protested in the U.S, Canada, Italy, Philippines, Pakistan and Lebanon.

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