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Justice Prayers - June 26

For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12


Four Bodies Found by the Rio Grande near U.S.-Mexico Border

U.S. Border Patrol agents have located four bodies by the Rio Grande in Texas, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Three of the deceased were children — one toddler and two infants — and the other was a 20-year-old woman. While cautioning that it's still early in the investigation, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office says that so far there are no signs of foul play. Officials say it appears the woman and children died from dehydration and heat exposure, but the next step will be to determine the precise cause and manner of their deaths. The bodies have not yet been identified, and their country of origin isn't known.

God, for these lives, known and loved by you, we give you thanks. We lament their deaths. We pray, God, for safety and protection -- through hospitality, through policies, and through humanitarian aid -- for those who today don’t have what they need to survive.

Muslim Man Beaten to Death in India, Perpetuating Fear of Religious Nationalists Provoking Violence

Indian police say they have arrested 11 people over the torture of a Muslim man who later died of his wounds, in the latest suspected lynching by Hindu vigilantes. A video that has since gone viral shows the man tied to a pole and forced to shout "Jai Shri Ram" (“Hail Lord Ram”), a slogan increasingly used by Hindu far-right groups. Local media reports say the man’s wife has accused police of intentionally taking him to jail first -- instead of to a hospital -- despite his life-threatening injuries. On Monday, India rejected a U.S. State Department report that said religious intolerance and violence have increased against minorities in India under the government of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

God, we are so fearful of a world that does not allow people the freedom to follow the faiths they choose. We pray for this trend of violence in India, and pray that leaders might find ways to reverse this course so that the people of India -- especially those who are vulnerable because of their faith -- could live free of fear.

Georgia Becoming Solar Hotbed as Prices Drop, Investments Soar

Georgia is quickly becoming one of the U.S.’s hottest markets for solar panels and renewable energy production. Last year, Hanwha Q CELLS Korea, a leader in the global solar industry, created more than 500 jobs and invested $150 million in a new solar module manufacturing facility in the city of Dalton, Ga. Increasingly less costly and better solar technology, available land, and lots of sunshine are driving demand for massive, utility-scale solar projects across the American Southeast. The cost of installing solar has fallen by more than 70 percent in the past decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and will increasingly provide clean energy and help the U.S. take significant steps toward reducing its environmental impact.

God, we pray for innovative ideas, and we pray that the solutions we hope they provide will come to fruition. We pray, God, for more and more good news when it comes to the reality of climate change. Empower us to each do our part to care for the earth, and one another.

Global Refugee Forum Formed to Strengthen International Response

The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has announced the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, to take place in December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event, which is being held at Ministerial level, will be cohosted with Switzerland and coconvened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica. The Global Refugee Forum will provide an opportunity for countries to take stock of today’s situation and to strengthen the international response to today’s refugee crisis. The number of displaced persons has risen to an all-time high of more than 70 million, jumping from 43 million ten years ago.

In the face of this mounting refugee crisis, we pray for hope, oh God. We pray for leaders to be hope-filled in the solutions they present. We pray for migrants and refugees to be hope-filled as they face the danger, uncertainty, and powerlessness. We pray for your church to be hope-filled as we offer hospitality to the stranger in our midst.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Action Alert: Support Long-Term Solutions in Central America!

On June 17 the State Department announced it would cut off foreign assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras until the countries take "concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. border.” These cuts will only further destabilize El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, drive more refugees to seek safety, and end lifesaving work in those regions. Ask your Member of Congress to oppose this decision, and ask the State Department to reverse its decision to cut aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras!

Do Justice Blog

“Pregnant women, babies, and toddlers are most at risk, and males may suffer an increased risk of birth defects associated with testicular cancer, prostate cancer, or difficulty in fathering a child,” writes Rev. Richard Killmer about the effects of phthalates and PFAS on human health. Read Rev. Killmer’s full blog post, “Many States Worry about PFAS . . . The State of Maine Just Did Something about It.” 


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