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Justice Prayers - February 12, 2020

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. - 1 John 4:7 

Crisis Mounts Again in Syria

On Thursday, the UN reported that more than 586,000 people had been displaced in Idlib, Syria in the last two months alone. Four days later that number has increased to nearly 700,000. The place is already overcrowded with displaced people. Half the population of Syria, or around 12 million people, have been forced from their homes since the conflict began. Idlib province, Syria's last rebel-held region, was once considered a safe haven for people fleeing the conflict in other parts of the country.

God, for those in Syria who have experienced so much trauma, who have lived through so much pain and violence, who are desperate for shelter, for basic necessities, and for eventual peace, we pray. We pray for those who are most vulnerable -- children, the elderly, the sick, those who have injuries or disabilities. We pray, Lord, for an end to this horrific war.

Desperation in Greek Refugee Camps

The UN refugee agency has called for the urgent evacuation of families and sick people from the Moria camp on Lesbos, Greece. Over the weekend boats continued to arrive on the Aegean islands, sending more families into “alarming” and overcrowded conditions in the refugee camps. The Moria camp in Lesbos is intended to hold 3,000 people, but has grown from a population of 5,000 last July to around 20,000 now, with new families arriving daily. Even the most vulnerable new arrivals can no longer find space in the official area, but have to build makeshift shelters in a rubbish-filled olive grove around the camp. Unable to leave because of a containment policy determined by the EU, they are forced to remain on the islands until their asylum requests are processed by a system that is understaffed and overstretched. It has caused tension to arise between asylum seekers, who are living in squalid conditions without access to clean water, sanitation, healthcare, and local people, who have been abandoned by their government to deal with the consequences of a failed reception system. Anti-immigrant sentiment is quickly on the rise.

We pray for these sojourning people, created in your image, known and loved by you, full of dignity and worth. We pray for the desperation that they experience. We pray for those whose lives have been turned upside-down in order to offer help. We pray for creative, peace-making communities to thrive. We pray for health and safety, for protection from further harm, and for the chance to start again in safety and peace. We pray that hospitality with produce goodness for both the giver and receiver. We pray for an end to the suffering that drives people from their homes.

2020 U.S. Census Fears

In these final weeks before the 2020 census is rolled out to the entire U.S., the federal government is under pressure to hire and train around a half-million door knockers and other temporary workers by this spring. Near record low unemployment is raising concerns the Census Bureau won't be able to find enough qualified temps, who play a critical role in ensuring the bureau meets the constitutional mandate to count every person living in the country every 10 years. The population numbers set the distribution of political representation and an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding for states and local communities. The accuracy of census information collected from historically undercounted groups hinges largely on the bureau's ability to dramatically staff up in a matter of months once a decade. Census Bureau research has shown that a disproportionate share of people of color may be left out of the count unless they receive a home visit from a census worker.

God, so much is at stake in an accurate and fair census. We pray that enough workers would be hired, we pray that all people might be counted, we pray that the resources that rely on the census’s accuracy are fairly distributed. God, we pray that the U.S. census would be a tool for justice, not injustice.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Thank You! For Adocating Against the 'Remain in Mexico' Policy 

Because of your effort's we're able to send over 153 handwritten postcards from several churches to Sen. Peters, who is on the Senate Homeland Security Committee which practices oversight and accountability of immigration enforcement and border operation.  If you'd like to contact your representative you can use this action alert.  

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