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Justice Prayers - July 28th 2021

"Heart of my own heart, whatever befall.  Still be my vision, O ruler of all." - Be Thou My Vision 

Political Crisis in Tunisia 

On Sunday, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied removed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who was also in charge of the interior ministry, and suspended Parliament for at least 30 days, thrusting the country into its biggest political crisis since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy. In a speech, President Saied said he would assume executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister. While rivals condemned this as an attack against democracy, supporters celebrated in the streets. The move came following mass demonstrations in several Tunisian cities earlier on Sunday. Protesters demanded the government’s removal after a spike in COVID-19 cases that aggravated economic troubles. 

God, we see so much uncertainty ahead of us, and we pray for Tunisians both in their homeland and abroad as they now navigate the unknown future of their government and wellbeing. Lord, we pray for justice for the Tunisian people, in the form of the right allocation of resources, of representative government, and economic flourishing. Bring peace, O Lord. 


Climate Scientists Gather to Report to the World; Present 5 Future Scenarios

More than 200 of the world's leading climate scientists began meeting on Monday to finalize the Sixth Assessment Report summarizing how Earth's climate has already changed, and what humans can expect for the rest of the century. The two-week virtual meeting of IPCC scientists coincides with a raft of deadly climate-driven disasters unfolding around the world, from flash floods in Europe, North America and Asia, to intense wildfires in Siberia, to widespread persistent heat waves and droughts that threaten to upend food supplies in the U.S., Middle East and much of Africa. A critical goal of the forthcoming report is to help governments make decisions about how to address climate change. The report won't tell governments what to do, but it is meant to help leaders - who will gather for COP26 in Glasgow - understand the effects of different policies.

8 long years we’ve been waiting for the latest master report to provide us direction and guidance. And for 8 years we’ve witnessed floods, fires, heatwaves, and disruption at a scale unbeknownst to our collective selves. Lord, may the minds of your beloved be focused, specific, poignant, and committed to providing the governments and the citizens of the world with the data to make bold decisions, brave sacrifices, and trust rooted-in-solidarity that together we can find solutions.

$100 Million in Emergency Funds Approved to Evacuate At-Risk Afghans 

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden has authorized up to $100m from an emergency fund to meet refugee needs stemming from the devolving situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants who are at risk from the Taliban because they worked for the US government. President Biden also approved on Friday the release of $200m in services and articles from the inventories of US government agencies to meet the same needs. The first batch of evacuees and their families is expected to be flown to Virginia by the end of July, and could be the first of up to 2,500 evacuees. 

As the Taliban advances and threatens any peace in Afghanistan, we pray for those particularly vulnerable, and ask for their swift retrieval. We give thanks for funds allocated to protect children and parents from the violence that tears apart the land they call home. God, we pray each and every Afghan be welcomed by communities, neighborhoods, churches, and families across the U.S.

Israel Makes Bold Commitment to Cut Carbon Emissions

Over the weekend, Israel announced that it will cut carbon emissions by 85% from 2015 levels by 2050. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the move would lead to a "clean, efficient and competitive economy" and put Israel at the forefront of the battle against climate change. The objectives include the reduction of the vast majority of emissions in the transport sector, in the energy sector and in urban waste. However, environmentalists and critical voices are not satisfied and call for even more ambitious targets for renewables and additional economic incentives to encourage change among the population. 

Creator God, the earth and all who are in it are your beloved, and with each commitment to live within our means and to protect precious resources, we are moving into closer communion with your intention for a flourishing life. We turn our eyes to the possible future of a healed planet and a healed people. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Support a Pathway to Citizenship!

The events of the last year, including a recent ruling made on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by a federal judge in Texas, have demonstrated the critical need for a permanent immigration solution that will keep families together and protect the lives, dreams, and futures of millions of undocumented immigrants. Contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to prioritize a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS-holders, and essential workers.

The Ideology of Whiteness 

Our partners at the Office of Race Relations have just released a new course.  The course delves into the history of the United States, where you’ll find that the concept of race was intentionally created in order to separate groups of people and exalt one over the others. It is a historical presentation utilizing historical documents and related video.  Find out more here.  

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