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In the Aftermath of the Attacks

ISIS has taken responsibility for three terrorist attacks that were carried out this past Thursday and Friday. On Thursday night over 40 people were killed and 250 were injured in a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. On Friday a suicide bomber killed over 20 people and wounded about 40 attending a funeral in Baghdad, Iraq. Then on Friday night over 120 people were killed and more than 350 were wounded in six different attacks across Paris, France.

In the wake of these attacks, anti-refugee sentiment has greatly increased throughout the world. The “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, endured several attacks and was set ablaze in response to the Paris violence. Twenty U.S. governors announced a suspension in the welcoming of Syrian refugees. On Saturday, the mosque in Peterborough, Ontario was subject to arson.

Refugees -- who are fleeing from the violence of terrorism -- should not be scapegoated for the attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, or Paris. As Christians, we must speak clearly and loudly: we are called to welcome the stranger, protect the vulnerable, and love fearlessly. We are called to respond with love even amidst our fear. We must hold on to our own humanity, seeking the image of God in each person.

Pray          Worship          Act          Learn

Pray

Prayers for Paris...and Beirut...and Baghdad

We lament the terrorist attacks and invite you to use this resource when praying and reflecting:

Where do you even start? There is a deep well of terror. We might even be getting numb to it. And we in North America are so far away from what is happening there. How must it feel to be there? What about the families and communities that live in a constant state of perpetual worry? Can you imagine living in a place where a family funeral is not safe? A place where prayer becomes, simply: “Dear God..." Read more…

Special Edition of Prayers: Pray for Peace and Compassion

We also lament the anti-refugee sentiment that has increased throughout the world as a result of the attacks and invite you to use this prayer in your worship service or in personal reflection:

Loving God, for refugees who have endured such suffering, we pray for relief. May you work powerfully to bring an end to the unspeakable violence that is happening all over the world. We pray for peace in Syria. We pray for restoration of the deep brokenness in lives, families, communities, nations. We pray for all who have suffered trauma. For first responders in Lebanon, Iraq, France. For bereaved families. For those who are injured but have survived. For the millions who have fled their homes, for the millions who cannot flee. We know that trauma leaves scars that can remain for a lifetime — we ask for your comfort and your healing, Lord. Read more...

Worship

Texts
Songs from Lift Up Your Hearts
  • 289 For the Healing of the Nations
  • 291 How Long, O Lord, How Long 
  • 294 When Asked, Who is My Neighbor
  • 295 Let Justice Flow
  • 298 Salaam/Peace 
  • 300 Come Now, You Blessed, Eat at My Table
  • 658 Bring Peace to Earth Again
  • 659 Nearer, Still Nearer
Devotions

Sign up for this year’s Advent Devotions around the theme of Displacement and Belonging. Starting November 30, World Renew and the CRC Office of Social Justice will share a daily devotional series for Advent to orient your Christmas season. Read stories about how we experience and witness displacement and belonging in our own lives and the lives of many people around the world. To sign up, go to crcna.org/Advent.

Act

The horrific events last Thursday and Friday have produced an outpouring of solidarity with victims and their families. Unfortunately, many political leaders have seized this opportunity to call on U.S. and Canadian authorities to close the doors to Syrian and other refugees seeking to enter our country. Click on the links below to contact your elected leaders urging them to continue supporting Syrian refugees and refugee resettlement. 

Contact your U.S. Members of Congress

Dear Senator or Representative: In the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad, I urge you to continue to support Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States. Refugees -- who are fleeing the violence of terrorism -- should not be blamed or scapegoated for these attacks. The U.S. government should act out of compassion rather than fear and should continue to welcome refugees into our communities. I urge you to continue to support Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S. However, an increase in funding is needed to support the U.S.’s commitment to increase resettlement of refugees. Send an email to your Members of Congress here...

Contact your Canadian Member of Parliament

Dear Member of  Parliament: In the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad, I urge you to continue to support Syrian refugee resettlement in Canada. Refugees -- who are fleeing the violence of terrorism -- should not be blamed or scapegoated for these attacks. The Canadian government should act out of compassion rather than fear and continue to welcome the 25,000 Syrian refugees to which Prime Minister Trudeau has committed. Send an email to your Member of Parliament here...

Contact the Governor of your U.S. State
What has your Governor's stance been on welcoming Syrian refugees post Paris? Find out here...
 
Considering calling your Governor to give him/her feedback about their stance. Click here to find your Governor's contact information...
 
Below are some examples of what you can say: 

Thank you for ensuring that our state remains a welcoming place for refugees! I will do my part to ensure that refugees who come to my community are welcomed. Contact your Governor here...

Or

I feel that the government's stringent screening process of refugees is already keeping people in our state safe. I ask you to stop confounding terrorists and refugees -- refugees are fleeing the violence of terrorists, and deserve our humanity, not unfounded scrutiny. Contact your Governor here...

Learn

The chaos in our world makes us anxious. On our own, humanity reacts to this anxiety in predictable ways. Fear quickly becomes the foundation of all our words, actions, and ways of being. We fail to see that fear is never the crucible of wise decision-making or purposeful action. Read more from this post by a CRC pastor...

A Frenchman whose wife was killed in the Bataclan massacre writes a defiant message to the gunmen and a touching tribute to his wife. Read more...​

12 Verses about loving immigrants, refugees, and displaced people. Read more from this Relevant Magazine article...

The New York Times Editorial Board makes the case that equating refugees with terrorists is morally unacceptable. Read the entire article…

Canada has a thorough three step screening process that leaves no room for concerns that terrorists will enter as refugees. Read more about the process from CTV...

Refugees are the most highly screened group of migrants to enter the United States. Use this one page sheet on the screening process…

Resettlement to a country like the U.S. presents a life-saving alternative for a very small number of refugees around the world (less than one half of one percent). Refugees seeking resettlement in the United States must pass through a number of steps aimed at ensuring that they will not pose a security risk to the United States. Read more from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants…

750,000 refugees have been resettled in America since 9/11. Not one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges. This articles proclaims that America should reclaim its role as a beacon of those fleeing persecution and war. Read more from The Economist...

Muslims all over the world have been condemning ISIS and demonstrating that Islamophobia is unfounded. Read more on Beliefnet…

The U.S. Congress is coming under pressure to halt refugee admissions and a group of U.S. governors has communicated their desire to halt resettlement. Get the whole story from The Hill...

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall wants the federal government to suspend its plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year. Read more from CBC News...

Snyder's office released a statement Sunday saying the state would not be accepting any Syrian refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully reviewed its procedures. Read more...

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