Turkish Christians mark Feast of St. Peter and Paul in Hatay
HATAY – Anadolu Agency
AA photoReligious representatives of Turkey’s Orthodox and Catholic Christians and believers gathered at the St. Pierre Church, located on the skirts of Mount Habib Neccar in the southern province of Hatay, in order to mark the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29.
The service began with a moment of silence and the singing of the national anthem, while the attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport late on June 28 that killed at least 41 people cast a pall over the celebration.
“Today, as on other days, let’s pray with Jews and Christians for humanity, for peace. Peace, humanity, brotherhood, love are necessary for all of us,” Hatay Mayor Lütfü Savaş said in his speech, adding that “there are no winners in war and no losers in peace.”
Levon Zekiyan of the Apostolic Administrator of the Armenian Archeparchy of Istanbul also expressed his sadness over the attack in Istanbul, saying only “God’s power” would suffice in preventing such incidents.
“All we can do is to extend our prayers to God, the lord for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East, and among the people in our country,” he said.
The Vatican’s ambassador to Ankara, Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, ecclesiastics from a number of provinces and Christian citizens also attended the ceremony, where they prayed and lit candles.