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Peace Walk - Rome
Dominicans March for Peace

Rome (Italy), 25 September 2006 -- On August 8th, feast of St. Dominic Guzman OP, the Master General of the Dominican Order, Fr Carlos Aspiroz Costa OP, at the request of the International Justice and Peace Commission issued a call to pray for peace on 21st September, designated as the International Day of Peace. It was a request to Wrap the World in Prayer for peace in Iraq and the Middle East. The call was to organize prayer vigils, but also to do some visible action for peace in our broken world.

The General Co-Promoters, Prakash Lohale OP and Marie-Therese Perdriault OP in Rome decided to have a ‘Walk for Peace’ on 21st September. We assembled at Piazza Madonna di Loreto next to Piazza Vienezia at 5.30 p.m on 21st September for our Peace Walk.

An ongoing campaign I Have Family in Iraq was the inspiration that induced the Dominican family to start solidarity actions for our sisters and brothers in the Iraq and in the Middle East. A spokeswoman of the Justice and Peace group began on the megaphone with the slogan "Wrap the World in Prayer for Peace". Over four hundred nuns and men in their characteristic white habits pulled of the Piazza Venezia in a silent march to the Colosseum. Some dozens drivers thought, it was a solidarity action for the Pope, who was attacked world-wide by Muslims because of his speech in Regensburg. But rather the opposite was the case.

At the Colosseum a Dominican nun who had arrived from Iraq spoke of the despair in their country. More and more people want to flee the country. It will be difficult to survive for Christians. The director of a study center for Christian-Islamic dialogue in Cairo, a French Dominican Jean Jacques Perennes, shared about his recent visit to Iraq. He also told us that by 5 minutes of the Pope’s speech in Regensburg, 50 years of work in the Christian-Islamic dialogue threatens to be destroyed. Also the Master General, Carlos Azpiroz Costa the highest representative of the Dominican family counting over 100.000 members. Spoke “we have full confidence that responsible persons of the nations will use more of dialogue in order to find a peaceful and durable solution for the conflicts, which tear our world up. We must build bridges instead of walls, construct instead of occupying." And at the end all stood up to pray for peace while the Our Father was recited in Arabic by the Iraqi sisters.

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