Kabul (Agenzia Fides) - "Tomorrow, June 29, a seventh round of negotiations will begin between the United States and the Taliban. We all hope that an agreement can be reached that puts an end to an 18-year war. We want to entrust this intention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The fact that Afghanistan is a Muslim country is irrelevant. We firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and King of the universe, He wants to reign over all nations. And his kingdom is "a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace". We pray the Divine Heart for our salvation". This is what Father Giovanni Scalese, Barnabite priest, responsible for the Missio sui iuris in Afghanistan says, in a note sent to Agenzia Fides.
The message arrives on the day when the Church celebrates the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the eve of a new session of negotiations that follows that of last May, always in Qatar: in that phase, the a draft agreement was made that included the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, a national ceasefire and talks with the Afghan authorities. According to statements by the US Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, "both sides want to achieve rapid progress" in the peace process.
"The contribution that the small Christian community can give to peace and the reconstruction of this country is limited, even if the signs of its presence in this land are significant: the service to the poorest among the poor, assistance to the needy and education concerning the less fortunate. But in addition to humanitarian objectives, the Christian community has a secret weapon that can give unimaginable effects: prayer", says Father Scalese.
In Afghanistan there is only one parish, situated within the Italian Embassy in Kabul, attended by about a hundred people, almost exclusively members of the international diplomatic community. The sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the inter-congregational Pro Children Association of Kabul are also present in the Afghan capital. Until 2016, the Little Sisters of Charles de Foucauld were also active, they had arrived in Afghan territory in the 1950s. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 28/6/2019)