Churches in Great Britain are being urged to observe Sept. 20 as Peacemaking Sunday. The United Nations International Day of Peace is the following day.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have produced worship materials including hymns, readings, images and a sermon guide to help congregations think about peace. Special prayers for peace based on particular situations of conflict around the world have also been written.

The three denominations have called upon churches to hold peace services and to pray for those in areas of violence such as Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine. Peace workers and victims of religious attacks in Pakistan will also be held in prayer.

All three denominations have spoken out against a replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent, arguing that now is the time to start working toward a world without nuclear weapons.

“The appalling death toll in Iraq and especially Afghanistan bring issues of peace into sharp focus this year,” said Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

“Peacemaking Sunday gives us a great opportunity to reflect and pray on our calling to follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace,” he said.

“The Joint Public Issues Team has produced some excellent resources to help us as we mark Peacemaking Sunday and I hope that every church will make use of them.”

This article appeared originally in The Baptist Times of Great Britain.

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