TEANECK - New Jersey's religious community banded together yesterday as thousands prayed for peace in Syria.

Pope Francis proclaimed yesterday to be a day of fasting and prayer for peace.

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The Archdiocese in Newark says 218 Catholic parishes in the state participated in the day of peace, but congregations from other denominations joined in as well. In Teaneck, the Syriac Orthodox Church opened their doors for prayer and fasting. Archbishop Cyril A. Karim says their church's patriarch issued a directive to follow the pope's call.

The Teaneck congregation has 500 families, many of whom have relatives in Syria.