Prague's Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders to pray for peace amid Israel-Hamas war

The event will take place today at the Church of St. Salvator near Charles Bridge; faith leaders encourage public attendance.


Written by ČTK Published on 31.10.2023 11:11:00 (updated on 31.10.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

On Oct. 31 at 5 p.m., Christians, Jews, and Muslims will pray together for peace in the Holy Land in the Church of St. Salvator in central Prague, according to the organizing group, the Academic Parish of Prague. In a Facebook post, the parish said participants can light a candle for peace and for the victims of conflict.

Fighting has recently flared in the Middle East following Hamas' attack on Israel earlier this month. Representatives from Christian churches and the Jewish and Muslim communities will gather at the church near Charles Bridge, which falls under the auspices of Tomáš Halík, the longtime spiritual administrator of the Academic Parish.

Prayers will be led by Halík for the Roman Catholic Church, Jiří Schneider for the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Sylvie Wittmannová for the liberal Jewish community of Beit Simchat, and Vladimír Sáňka for the Prague Muslim community.

According to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, the core Jewish population in Czechia is 3,900. The population with Jewish parents is 6,000.

On Oct. 7, Hamas gunmen invaded southern Israel, murdering approximately 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping around 240 others into the Gaza Strip. Israel responded with bombing of the Gaza Strip and a ground operation in the Palestinian-held territory.

According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of over 8,000 people. The Israeli army has also stepped up raids against Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank and is fighting the Lebanese Shiite radical movement Hezbollah on Israel's northern borders.

In the 2021 census, 5,132 people in the Czech Republic declared themselves to be Muslim. Out of all the Czech regions, Prague has the most sizeable Muslim community, which numbers 2,041 people.

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