2018 (EN)

Today, 23 February 2018, the first Friday of Lent, is a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, in particular for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The initiative was launched by Pope Francis during the Angelus on Sunday 4 February 2018.
The Fondazione Mediterraneo with its network has joined the day in the wake of the thirty year activity for dialogue and peace.
The Pope's invitation was welcomed by the World Council of Churches which announced that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone, over 4 million people have been displaced and more than 13 million Congolese are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The same tragic situation in South Sudan where 2 million people have fled the country and many are internally displaced. In the battered African country almost two thirds of the population need humanitarian aid. Card. Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, invited the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, Pastor Olav Fykse Tveit to attend this Day of Prayer which becomes - he wrote in a letter - "a sign of solidarity and closeness to those who suffer in these nations and especially to the many Christians of different Churches who live there and, moreover, a concrete step in the shared witness of the Gospel of peace, which the world so badly needs ". Pastor Tveit has accepted the invitation he has addressed to the Church members of the Council, reiterating that it is precisely children, young people and women who are the people most affected by the crisis.
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue also supported the Pope's wish to extend prayer and fasting to the faithful of other religions, living it "according to their own tradition and in their places of worship".
In Italy there has been the adhesion of Islamic religious communities.