Churches representing over 550 million Christians world-wide have been invited for the first time to mark Tuesday 21 September as an International Day of Prayer for Peace.
In the framework of its Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches seeking Reconciliation and Peace (2001-2010), the World Council of Churches (WCC) has called on its member churches to pray for peace on 21 September or on the Sundays preceding or following that day.
“Observing an International Day of Prayer for Peace together is one way to combine the strength and witness of churches and faith communities with the strength of the many forces in the international community who are also striving to promote peace and justice in our troubled world,” the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia said.
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan warmly welcomed the idea of celebrating an International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September at a meeting with Kobia on 17 May 2004. Annan said the initiative responds to his hope that the UN Day of Peace will encourage people in different contexts to reflect together on what they can do for peace.