ALL RELIGIONS IN ITALY ARE UNITED IN JUBILEE OF PRISONS"
| 300 Prisoners of Different Creeds Prayed Together
ROME, JULY 7 (ZENIT.org).- Yesterday, some 300 Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslims prisoners
of different nationalities lived an extraordinary moment of prayer and reflection in the Roman prison
of Rebibbia. On the eve of the Jubilee of Prisons, Rebibbia experienced an intense moment, thanks
to the efforts of chaplains, led by Fr. Sandro Spriano, and volunteers of the St. Egidio Community.
The ceremony began in the Church of Our Father, where more than 150 Italian and Slav prisoners
congregated. After carrying candles and the Bible, the prisoners heard greetings from 3 Italian
chaplains: Fr. Spriano, Fr. Roberto Guernieri, and Fr. Venancio Rosetto; and foreign priests,
including Ukrainians Fr. Eugene Nebesniak and Vasyl Zeikan, Rumanian Orthodox Juvenalie, and
Fr. Gabriel Selassie Woldu of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. After the two readings, one of which
was entrusted to a prisoner, and Fr. Spriano's homily, the prisoners prayed spontaneously.
At the same time, Muslim prisoners met in the gymnasium. They included 120 Moroccans,
Algerians, Tunisians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Albanians, and gypsies from former Yugoslavia, who
welcomed Imam Mahmoud Hammad Sheweita of the Great Mosque of Rome, who led them in
prayer. There was much joy and emotion when the Imam distributed copies of the Qu'ran and
When Church bells began pealing, Christians and Muslims met together in the theater, where they
were greeted by prison director Massimo Di Rienzo. Stefania Tallei, a volunteer of the St. Egidio
Community, recalled the spirit of peace and friendship of the cherished 1986 meeting of the Pope
with representatives of all the religions of the world in Assisi. The Imam prayed for a climate of
fraternity among all believers, and committed himself to return on all Fridays during Ramadan, to
lead the inmates in prayer.