Catholics and Protestants came together to pray for peace today as tensions continued to mount ahead of the peak to the loyalist marching season.
A week of special prayers got under way in Belfast for the protection of the community during the tense summer months.
Catholics and Protestants gathered at a Presbyterian church on the ‘‘peace line’’ dividing the nationalist Falls Road and loyalist Shankill Road in west Belfast.
Every day this week three-hour services are being held at the church beside the symbol of division to pray for an end to the ever deepening violence.
The services take place against the backdrop of serious rioting in west Belfast at the weekend and continuing sectarian disturbances in both north and east Belfast.
Brother David Jardine, of the Divine Healing Ministries, said: ‘‘There was a lot of violence in Belfast last summer. Already this year there has been serious trouble in the Short Strand, Limestone Road, Ardoyne and Whitewell areas.
‘‘This week of prayer is an opportunity for people to come together and ask God to see us safely through the dangers of the summer months.’’