Pray for stampede victims – Church

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The Archdiocese of Cebu called on the people to pray for the casualties and survivors of the stampede in Mecca, where thousands of Muslim pilgrims gathered for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

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Archdiocesan spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan in a phone interview expressed his sadness over the incident wherein more than 700 people died.

“We should not forget that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all the same, we share the belief of one God. This is just one of the factors that connect us to our Muslim brothers and sisters, with what happened in Mecca we surely feel sad,” says Tan.

He also said the archdiocese is formulating steps to also secure delegates to the International Eucharistic Congress that would be held in Cebu next year and wherein more than 12,000 people are expected.

Tan assures that the venue for their activities is safe, but he still asked Cebuanos to pray that the international meeting would be peaceful and successful.

A crisis management team will be created to make sure that the pavilion and the other structures around it are strong enough to hold the participants.

“Our building [Pavilion] strictly follows the building code. The access to the main building are huge so people can freely go through and prevent [a]possible stampede, especially during emergencies,” said Tan.

They will also make sure that all emergency exits are established and first aid teams will be available in all corners.

Meanwhile, Tan said parish priests are encouraged to offer prayers for the victims of the tragedy in their masses on Sunday.

“We have to let them feel that they are not alone, and that we support them,” Tan added.

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