HELSINKI – A Finnish priest who started ringing church bells daily for victims of the Aleppo bombings says the idea spread into a campaign with 800 parishes of all denominations participating worldwide.
Teemu Laajasalo, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, says he was shocked and saddened by the destruction in the Syrian city and two weeks ago began tolling the bells for a few minutes each day at 5 p.m., at his church in Kallio, central Helsinki. He says they reminded people of "the worst crisis since World War II that caused a feeling of horror and powerlessness."
The movement spread in Finland and gradually through Europe, reaching churches as far away Australia, New Zealand and U.S.A. The campaign ended Monday on United Nations Day, also known as a day of prayer.