Season's Greetings from Pax Christi International

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Dear Pax Christi members and friends around the world,

 

On behalf of Pax Christi International, I want to wish you a holiday season filled with hope and solidarity, and a 2014 lived with a renewed commitment to peace.

 

During this season, I want to especially invite you to keep the people of Syria and of the Central African Republic close to your hearts. We keep advocating for a just peace in Syria and we hope that the upcoming negotiations in Geneva will open new spaces to bring the war to an end. More than 110 thousand people have died, 6.5 million are internally displaced and around 2.3 million people – more than half of them children – are refugees in neighboring countries.

 

On the other hand, the Central African Republic has seen increasing violence and massive abuses of human rights in 2013 and the conflict has also ignited serious clashes between Christians and Muslims. Around 400,000 people have been internally displaced and over 2.3 million children have been affected by the ongoing crisis. We hope that the implementation of a recent UN Security Council Resolution will create conditions for restoring political stability and human security for individuals and communities.

 

Pax Christi treasures its Catholic tradition and these days we reflect dearly on the Good News of the Incarnation. At the same time we also treasure the beauty and wisdom present in other Christian denominations and religious traditions. Peace is our common language! At the end of the year I invite you to join all together and insistently pray for peace – from our own denomination or tradition – while we keep engaged in our day-to-day commitments.

 

I also invite you to join the “24 hours for peace” initiative on January 1st and our campaign “Peace Wishes and Prayers for the People in Bethlehem”. You can find all the details on our website.

 

2014 will mark the centennial of the beginning of World War I; for Pax Christi it will be an important occasion to renew our commitment to avoid that the international community moves in that direction again.

 

As we pray for peace let’s also be thankful for the generous commitment to peace of tens of thousands of Pax Christi individual members around the world. Your life inspires our journey! Although it seems frequently elusive, we believe Peace is possible, because our hope does not know limits.

 

With my deepest gratitude,

 

José Henríquez

Secretary General