Dying of Hope prayer in Cyprus to remember migrants who died on their journeys at sea

"Dying of Hope", a prayer in memory of the migrants who died at sea this year and of all the missing people of Cyprus, took place for the first time in Nicosia yesterday. Representatives of the Christian Churches, civil authorities and ambassadors and above all many refugees and asylum seekers participated. This touching prayer vigil ideally closed the holiday of solidarity of Sant'Egidio. For more than a month about 140 volunteers from all over Europe were present on the island, they offered solidarity and friendship through the School of Peace for children and a restaurant for families in the "Tent of Friendship" in the refugee camp of Pournara. Italian and English language courses were also organised for unaccompanied minors in Nicosia, Larnaca and Pafos.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, opened the prayer with a greeting, thanking the Community for the help given to the refugees, also supporting the government in its efforts to welcome them. Indeed, Cyprus is the European country with the highest number of migrants in relation to its population. The Minister underlined that the Cypriot people themselves are a people of migrants, thus able to understand the suffering and problems of those who land on the island from the Middle East and Africa.
The celebration was presided over by Mgr Selim Sfeir, Maronite Archbishop of Nicosia, with the participation of representatives of the Orthodox, Armenian and Anglican Churches.
The memory of the names of those who lost their lives during the journeys was very touching; a rose was laid for each of them. In the opening greeting of Sant'Egidio it was pointed out that migrants "die of hope, because it is hope that drives them to defy fate, even at the risk of their lives. They die for a great dream: a life worthy of the name. We cannot and will not forget them'.