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Justice Prayers - April 24

Lord, hear your Easter people's prayers! We live in hope, because He lives. 


Over 300 Dead, 500 Injured after Bombings in Sri Lanka

On Easter Sunday a series of coordinated suicide bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka have left at least 321 dead and more than 500 injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attacks. Since the attacks, it has been reported that Sri Lanka’s security forces were warned at least 10 days beforehand that suicide attacks were planned against churches, but apparently no precautions were taken. Three hotels and three churches -- Zion Church in Batticaloa; St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo; and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo -- were the targets of the attacks.

Lord, we are grieved that so many lives ended so violently in Sri Lanka while celebrating your resurrection. We mourn with the families who mourn. We pray for all who are left fearful and vulnerable, for community leaders who are looked to for answers and ways forward. We pray for pastors and imams who will continue to preach peace in this time of violence. We lament extremism all over the world, Lord, and we pray that we might all search our hearts for what must change if we are to be peacemakers. God, you make all things new. Renew your world, Lord, and renew our hope.


Canadian Citizen Can’t Get Travel Visas for Family

Though Sila Kisoso has been a resident of Canada for almost 20 years, the Kenyan-born Canadian's immediate family members have never been approved for a travel visa. Since 2011, Kisoso has applied six times for her sisters, Naisola and Peresian, to visit Canada, and the applications were rejected each time with a different response. Kisoso, who received her Canadian citizenship in 2018, feels that the lack of family reunification hurts Canadian immigrants. "This is our home, so we would like to have the same rights as other Canadians," she said. "So when we ask the Canadian government to allow our family to come and visit us for a few weeks, I think it's only fair for them to really be supportive of that."

God, for many of us, family provides the comfort, love, and companionship we long for, so we empathize with Sila, who longs to be reunited with her family. We pray that policies and procedures may reflect the desire to reunite families and support immigrants seeking a new homeland in nations like Canada.


Leader of Armed Militia at Border Arrested

The leader of an armed civilian militia that patrols the southern border for undocumented migrants was arrested by the FBI on Saturday, days after widespread publication of a video of the group holding migrants against their will sparked outrage. Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in the New Mexico border city of Sunland Park on charges of felony possession of firearms and ammunition, according to the FBI. Hopkins leads the United Constitutional Patriots, or UCP, one of several militias that have taken to patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border. The patrols have been emboldened by a recent surge in Central American migrant caravans.

God, we pray for a just and merciful immigration system, and we ask that your Spirit will transform our hearts to see the foreigner as a neighbor, not a threat. And, Lord, we’re angry that vulnerable migrants are being met with horror and trauma, and we ask boldly that you cease the actions of mean-spirited people eager to take the law into their own hands. Please bring your peace and wisdom into the immigration process, Lord..


India Adapting to Avoid Worst Consequences of Climate Change

Climate change continues to threaten countries on every continent. And while many are collectively working to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, countries like India, with massive populations and high rates of poverty, are most at risk. Despite the threat of disruption, India has also been working actively to get ahead of the curve. Some things the nation has done to reduce climate change include setting average fuel consumption standards for passenger cars that  will lead to a 22.97 million metric ton reduction in fuel consumption. India has also set targets to significantly increase its use of solar energy and wind power, with the goal of increasing its non fossil fuel energy sources to 40 percent of total energy sources by 2030.

God, for so many of us, we knowingly and unknowingly live in such a way that hurts your world and puts a burden on vulnerable communities. Forgive us, we pray, and convict us to live in right relationship with you, that we might use our God-given creativity to live flourishing lives in light of the goodness of your creation.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to Our Own Prayers

Action Alert -- Ask Congress for Long-Term Solutions in Central America!

Cuts to development and humanitarian-aid organizations seeking to address the root causes of violence, poverty, and migration will only further destabilize El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, drive more refugees to seek safety, and end life-saving work in those regions. Support effective foreign policy in Central America!

Immigration Is Our Story: Series

The Christian Reformed Church in North America also has an immigration story. We are an immigrant denomination, and the immigrant experience is a significant part of our story. Though the denomination today consists of congregations of many ethnicities and nationalities, it was originally established by Dutch Reformed immigrants who made their way to North America in the mid-1800s. Read more and check out the biweekly audio series!

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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