The Archbishop of York said he has been "humbled" by the support he has received at the end of his week-long vigil for peace in the Middle East.
Dr John Sentamu, the former Bishop for Birmingham, gave up his family holiday to sleep in a tent inside York Minster and survived on only liquids in solidarity with the countless people who have suffered in Israel and Lebanon.
At a service in the minster yesterday, the 57-year-old called on the international community to redouble its efforts to bring about sustainable peace, warning that the conflict in the Middle East was encouraging terrorism.
He said: "I have been humbled by the thousands of people - of faith and of no faith - who have supported me over the past seven days with their presence, prayers and solidarity."
The archbishop, who had his head shaved before he began his fast a week ago, said the lives of people caught in the conflict were too fragile and valuable to be lost in violence.
"Why, then, is their life cheapened by those who control suicide bombers, Katusha rockets, airstrikes and gunships?", he asked.
"The events of the past weeks, in the Lebanon, Israel, the United States and Britain have demonstrated that we cannot afford any longer to leave the issues of the Middle East in the pending tray of unresolved business.
"There is no greater recruiting sergeant for would be Jihadists than the conflict in the Middle East.
"Without urgent action on our part, for their sakes and our own, the spiral of violence that has lasted longer than the whole of my lifetime - and I am 57 - will continue unabated, as new generations become mired in the enmity of their forefathers.
"After seven days of fasting and praying I am more persuaded than ever that wars and violence cannot lead to a long-lasting solution."
The archbishop also called for greater social inclusion and justice in Britain, as well as in distant conflict.
His tent will remain pitched in York Minster as a symbol of the need for prayer until a UN peace-keeping force is put in place in Southern Lebanon.