Feast of Peter and Paul celebrated in Hatay with prayers for Istanbul victims
HATAY – Doğan News Agency
AA photoSt. Pierre Church in the southern province of Hatay, one of the world’s oldest churches, held an event to celebrate the Feast of Peter and Paul and to pray for the victims of the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul’s main airport on June 28.
The June 29 holiday, which marks the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in the Christian tradition, brought Christians to the church to pray and light candles.
Christian clerics such as the Vatican’s ambassador to Ankara, Paul Fitzpatrick Russell; the head of Turkey’s Armenian Catholic Church, Bishop Levan Zekiyan; Anatolian Apostolic Bishop Monseigneur Paolo Bizzeti and Republican People’s Party (CHP) member Hatay Mayor Lütfü Savaş attended the rite.
Zekiyan condemned the terror attack in Istanbul on the night of June 28 and said prayers for world peace would continue.
“This terrifying violent incident has put an end to our gaiety and filled our hearts with sorrow. For the victims, we ask that God rest their souls and plead for the rapid treatment of those wounded in hospitals. Unfortunately, such events are increasing in number and [we are in need of] power to hinder these occurrences,” said Zekiyan.
‘Christianity spread from Hatay’
The holiday is celebrated at the church ever June 29, said the head of Antakya’s Orthodox Church Community Foundation, Fadi Hurigil.
“As the founders of the Antakya Church and as a whole, we recall the two people, Saint Paul and Peter, who contributed to the spread of Christianity. Today, as the representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, we have gathered in this holy place. As you all know, Christianity for the first time started expanding to the world from this country. With this means, I wish the spreading of peace, love and serenity to the world. We’re looking forward to the attacks coming to an end because the world needs to reach a climate of affinity,” he said.
Savaş also condemned the terror attack in Istanbul while expressing hopes for the evolution of love and fraternity in Hatay