The Holy Land has undergone a period of intense and dramatic darkness, an international delegation of bishops said this week.
In their Final Communiqué the Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land Co-Ordination, who visited the region in January 2012, highlighted conflict in Gaza and Southern Israel; polarisation within Israel and Palestine and civil war in Syria as recent developments that had caused profound anxiety.
They said that the number of Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing from conflict and terror had put an enormous strain on nearby countries.
The eight signatories to the Communiqué, who included the Bishop of Clifton Declan Lang and Bishop William Kenney, an auxiliary in Brimingham, called for peace in the region.
"We are inspired to promote a just peace and call upon Christian communities in our home countries and people of goodwill everywhere to support the work undertaken in this region to build a better future," the bishops said.
Above: A woman walks past a house destroyed in an airstrike in the town of Azaz, Syria. Photo: CNS photo/Ahmed Jadallah, Reuters