The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has written to Anglican Bishops and Archbishops around the world to express his concerns about the conflict in "the first homeland of Abraham" and his hope for a positive future for the Middle East.
In his letter to the Primates of the Anglican Church's 38 Provinces, Dr Williams spoke of his concern for Christian communities in the region, and of his prayers for them and their neighbours of other faiths.
Dr Williams also voiced hopesfor reconciliation and justice in the region.
"We have entered on a time of acute suffering for some and of anxiety for all peoples and nations round the world" he said.
"As leaders of our Churches within the Anglican Communion, we must pray that, whatever the many and varied misgivings expressed, the military action now being undertaken may help to bring about a more stable future for the whole region, with justice for all."
"We shall be thinking especially of our fellow Christians throughout theMiddle East, and praying that they and their neighbours who belong to other faiths will find the strength and vision to go on working for a shared future of understanding and respect."
"Let us also hold in our prayers Christians in others parts of the world, who may feel vulnerable and uncertain at this time of tension."
"Those in the front line of conflict and their families face particular challenges; and in praying for them and those who seek to support, let us also remember the many clergy from different countries who are charged with pastoral responsibility for men and women on active service."
"The prayers of the whole world will be focused in the days ahead on hopesfor an early end to armed conflict and a settlement that will honour the freedom and dignity of the people of Iraq."
"May God our redeemer bring good out of the passions and tragedies that have scarred that country, the first homeland of Abraham our father in faith.
"With Abraham, we look forward to 'the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God' Let us commit ourselves to working under God for the signs of that city to become manifest among us in reconciliation and justice."