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[Today’s Prayer] Expected ceasefire for Ramadan, but escalation of war… Bloody conflict in Lebanon


Even during the fasting month of Ramadan, which is supposed to be a time of peace in the Islamic world, armed conflict in the Middle East continues.


As Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip continues to eliminate Hamas, Israel and the Lebanese militant faction Hezbollah exchange attacks, raising concerns about an escalation of the war.


According to foreign news agencies such as Reuters and AFP on the 11th (local time), Israel carried out airstrikes on the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek and its surrounding areas on the first day of Ramadan, resulting in several casualties.


(Omitted)


The Golan Heights is an area occupied by Israel since the third Arab-Israeli War (known as the Six-Day War) in 1967, where frequent military clashes between Hezbollah and Israel have occurred.


As Israel attacked eastern Lebanon following Lebanon's airstrike on the Golan Heights that day, analysts speculate that the war between Israel and Hamas could spread to neighboring countries.


(Omitted)


As clashes between Israel and Hezbollah and military operations in the Gaza Strip continue even during Ramadan, concerns in the international community are growing.


The United States, Qatar, and Egypt tried to use Ramadan as an opportunity to come up with a ceasefire and hostage release plan in the Gaza Strip, where gunfire had lasted more than five months, and to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas, but failed.


UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged Israel and Hamas to lay down their arms in Gaza on this Ramadan day, saying, "Despite Ramadan, a time to celebrate peace, harmony, and solidarity, killings, bombings, and bloodshed persist in Gaza."


The Washington Post noted, "This year's Ramadan comes amid escalated tensions in the Middle East due to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza," highlighting the growing anxiety that the conflict could far exceed its current boundaries of war.


The New York Times reported, "Starvation and fear have engulfed Gaza as Ramadan begins," describing the grim situation in Gaza this year, which contrasts with the fasting, charity, family gatherings, and nighttime festivities typically associated with Ramadan.


(Omitted)


Recently, Gaza health authorities announced that at least 20 children have died from malnutrition and dehydration in Gaza.


According to the NYT, some Palestinian residents in Gaza are so hungry that they are eating leaves and animal feed, while many others are subsisting on wild plants to alleviate hunger.


Moreover, many of the residents of the Gaza Strip faced Ramadan in a gloomy state as they fled their homes to avoid Israeli air raids.


A Palestinian man named Shubat, who is living as a refugee with his family of four in a school in Jabaliya, northern Gaza, told the NYT in an interview, "This Ramadan won't be joyful because we'll be separated from our homes and loved ones."


Source: Yonhap News


For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

Lord, even though Ramadan has begun in the Islamic world, armed conflicts in the Middle East have not stopped, and concerns about an escalation of war are growing as Israel and the Lebanese armed faction Hezbollah exchange attacks.


During Ramadan, which celebrates peace, reconciliation, and solidarity in Islam, endless war, hunger, and fear are hitting the Middle East.


God of love who generously gave his only begotten Son, nothing in the world can save the world and there is no other way to be saved.


Only through Jesus, the Son of God, we can come to God, and we desire that this word of truth will be proclaimed to all nations in suffering.


As more and more people fast during Ramadan, seeking Islam with thirsty hearts, may you encounter them and save these nations with true peace, true forgiveness, and love that overcome false peace, never-ending anger, and pain.


God, may you begin your new work during this Ramadan! Let the Word of the Lord clearly reveal what is false and what is true, and let the Korean Church and the global church unite to pray for the 2 billion Muslims and strive to testify the Gospel.

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