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Justice Prayers - June 12, 2024

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. - Isaiah 11:6

Nigeria Confronts Its Worst Economic Crisis in a Generation

Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with skyrocketing inflation, a national currency in free-fall and millions of people struggling to buy food. Only two years ago, Africa's biggest economy, Nigeria is projected to drop to fourth place this year. The crisis is largely believed to be rooted in two major changes implemented by a president elected 15 months ago: the partial removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the currency, which together have caused major price rises. Last week, unions shut down hospitals, courts, schools, airports and even the country’s Parliament, striking in an attempt to force the government to increase the monthly salary of $20 it pays its lowest workers. But over 92 percent of working-age Nigerians are in the informal sector, where there are no wages, and no unions to fight for them. The government has twice devalued the naira in the past year, trying to enable it to float more freely and attract foreign investment. The upshot: It’s lost nearly 70 percent of its value against the dollar.

Nigeria cannot produce enough food for its growing population; food imports rise 11 percent annually. The currency devaluation caused those imports — already expensive because of high tariffs — to explode in price.

God of love and compassion, we pray for Nigeria and each and every individual, family, and community now struggling mightily to make ends meet. Lord, when we know not of the immediate solutions, we pray for relief for those who so desperately need it. We pray for economists, business leaders, the faith community, and non-profits in Nigeria and around the region to compile support in abundance.

Canada’s Parliament rocked by allegations of treason

The capital of one of the world’s most stable democracies is gripped by growing panic about foreign agents working in elected office. A bombshell report by Canadian lawmakers has unnerved Parliament Hill, alleging that unnamed politicians have been covertly working with foreign governments. The revelation in heavily redacted findings released this week by an all-party national security committee adds intrigue to a separate and ongoing inquiry into foreign interference in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections. The new report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is the first to suggest that lawmakers in Canada’s parliament may have helped foreign actors meddle in political campaigns and leadership races. Heightened anxiety in Ottawa about foreign interference comes in the middle of historic global elections where factors such as artificial intelligence and emboldened foreign powers are testing the resilience of democratic systems. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been on the defensive since the allegations broke Monday. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is calling on the government to name names. “The national security committee indicates there are members of this House that have knowingly worked for foreign hostile governments,” Poilievre said Wednesday. “Canadians have a right to know who and what is the information — who are they?”

We pray for transparency and justice, O God. We pray for the truth to come forth and for any wrongdoers who may have meddled with foreign actors and allowed foreign interference to corrupt domestic matters, we pray they might swiftly be brought to justice.

‘Unprecedented scale’ of violations against children in Gaza, UN report says: Israel and Hamas Signal Openness to Cease-Fire Plan, but Stop Short of Accepting It

More grave violations against children were committed in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel than anywhere else in the world last year, according to a UN report due to be published this week.

The report on children and armed conflict, which has been seen by the Guardian, verified more cases of war crimes against children in the occupied territories and Israel than anywhere else, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan. “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory presents an unprecedented scale and intensity of grave violations against children,” the report said. The annual assessment – due to be presented to the UN general assembly later this week by the secretary general, António Guterres – lists Israel for the first time in an annex of state offenders responsible for violations of children’s rights, triggering outrage from the Israeli government. A day after the United Nations Security Council endorsed a U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal for the Gaza Strip, the focus shifted on Tuesday to the willingness of Israel and Hamas, under growing international pressure to end the war, to make a deal.Each side made positive but vague statements about the cease-fire plan and blamed the other for prolonging a war that has devastated Gaza. But neither said it would formally embrace the proposal, which was outlined last month in a speech by President Biden and was the basis of the 14-0 vote in the Council on Monday.

For every hostage brought home, there is an unfathomable loss of life. For months we have been praying fervently for an end to this violence. Lord God Almighty, we pray for an end to this war, and for peacetime to take hold in the land.

Thousands Across Alabama Live Without Access to Public Water

In unincorporated Marion County, around 800 to 900 households—approximately 40 percent of all homes—do not have access to public drinking water, according to government estimates, a figure one water expert called “staggering.” Across Alabama, around 800,000 people—about 20 percent of the state’s population—rely on private water supplies, like wells, for drinking water, according to state estimates. That reality often has socioeconomic and racial implications, too. In some places, such as Athens, just under 100 miles north of Birmingham, and Prichard, just north of Mobile, most whites have reliable municipal water and sewer service while many Black residents suffer from deteriorated or nonexistent water infrastructure. In rural Marion County, where around 94 percent of residents are white, connections, money and power often determine where the water flows, according to residents. There are other risks, too, as a rapidly warming climate brings heat waves and drought, extreme weather and flooding. But summers, they recognize, are getting hotter. As many as one-fifth of the world’s wells are at risk of drying up in the near-term, researchers have concluded.

For Marion County residents and for Alabamians the state over, we pray for clean drinking, governance that delivers for the people, and for an end to racial disparities that are all too common across the U.S. Someone’s wealth, zip code, nor the color of their skin should determine the services they receive. For clean drinking water and reliable access, we pray, O God of all creation.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Indigenous Ministry Sunday

The upcoming Indigenous Ministry Sunday (June 23, 2024) resources highlight the experiencing reconciliation through doughnuts! Indigenous Ministry Sunday provides an opportunity for everyone in Canada to learn more about Indigenous peoples, their cultures and to celebrate the gifts and richness that Indigenous people bring to life in Canada.

Synod 2024 Prayer Support

For Synod 2024, there are many different ways that people can participate in supporting through prayer.  The theme for Synod 2024 worship and prayer is God With Us. This theme brings the truth of God’s promise of presence into the reality of our situations. In this time of uncertainty in the CRC, it is good to be reminded of the truth that God is with us in our fear, in our joy, in our anxiety, in our trust, in our mission, in the unknown, in all of life. Get full details

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