On Sunday, Pope Francis called on Christians around the globe to pray and fast to ask God to bring about peace and coexistence in Afghanistan.
While blessing pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said he attended last Thursday’s suicide bombing at Kabul airport with “great worry” and shared in the suffering of those mourning their loved ones.
According to him, he is also close to “those who are seeking help and protection”, an apparent reference to those trying to leave the country.
“I urge all of us to continue helping those in need and to pray in order to bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence that offers hope for the future of our country,” he said.
Christians must commit themselves to this situation. Because of this, I appeal to everyone to intensify prayer and fasting, prayer and fasting, prayer and penitence. Now is the time.
Scores of Afghans and 13 U.S. troops were killed in suicide attacks outside the airport gates on Thursday, where thousands had gathered to try to get a flight out since the Taliban returned to power.
Most Christians in Afghanistan are foreigners working in embassies or aid organizations.