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The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
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Afghanistan: Pope calls for prayer and fasting

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | I.MEDIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 08/29/21

After the Kabul airport bombing, Pope Francis renews his appeal to pray and fast to end the violence taking place in Afghanistan.

“I appeal to all: intensify your prayer and practice fasting,” urged Pope Francis in regards to the Afghan situation, during the Angelus delivered on August 29, 2021. He shared about his suffering after the suicide attacks which occurred on August 26 at Kabul airport.

“I am following the situation in Afghanistan with great concern,” insisted the Argentine pontiff from the window of the Apostolic Palace. In front of the crowd gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, he said he participated in the suffering “of all those who mourn for the people who lost their lives in the suicide attacks that took place last Thursday.”

“I ask everyone to continue to help those in need and to pray that dialogue and solidarity can lead to the establishment of a peaceful and fraternal coexistence and offer hope for the future of the country,” he pleaded.

Prayer and fasting engage us

In “historic moments like these, we cannot remain indifferent,” warned the head of the Catholic Church. “As Christians, this situation engages us,” he said, before launching his call to prayer and fasting.

“I’m serious,” he said. “Prayer and fasting, prayer and penance. Now is the time to do it,” he repeated.

Shortly before, he had asked “everyone to continue to help those who need it most” and thanked those who act for these suffering populations, “in particular women and children.”

On August 15, during the Angelus, Pope Francis had already expressed his grave concern over the situation in Afghanistan, when the Taliban were on the verge of regaining full control of the country following the departure of American forces.

He had called everyone to pray with him “to the God of peace” so that “the din of arms cease and solutions can be found at the dialogue table.”

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