Letta asks religious to "say a prayer for Italy"

Participants created peace symbol with candles at International Meeting for Peace
ROME - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta made a speech at Sunday's opening ceremony for the International Meeting for Peace in Rome, asking participants to "say a prayer for Italy."  
Prime Minister Letta spoke about the central role the United Nations is playing in resolving the situation in Syria and said that "peace is possible." The Prime Minister's remarks followed opening greetings by the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, and the President of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti. Many other notable public figures were also present at the event.
The founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Professor Andrea Riccardi, led a prayer recognising the diverse group of people representing many different religions. Professor Riccardi called for help to "delegitimise" religious terrorism and stated that "religion and peace are inseparable."  
The meeting continued Monday morning with Orthodox Archbishop of the Syrian Church, Dionysius Jean Kawak, giving a speech that emphasized the "strong force" for hope and change which prayer can be. He paid tribute to the kidnapped Syrian bishops, Mar Gregorios Yohanna ibrahib and Boulous Yazji, who have been missing for five months with no new leads. He also referenced Pope Francis' vigil for peace in Syria and illustrated how his act was an example of the possibility of change through prayer.
The International Meeting for Peace continues with daily events until its conclusion Tuesday night.