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Justice Prayers - March 10, 2021

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. - Psalm 25:4

Gender Violence

One in four women and girls around the world have been physically or sexually assaulted by a husband or male partner, according to the largest study yet of the prevalence of violence against women. The report, conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN partners, found that domestic violence started young, with a quarter of 15- to 19-year-old girls and young women estimated to have been abused at least once in their lives. The highest rates were found to be among 30- to 39-year-olds.

God of justice, we lament this truth, even as we understand the importance of facing it. For all women in situations of violence and oppression, bring liberation. We pray that we might be aware of the ways our communities, churches, habits, and even ideas about God wind up harming women, created in your image. Have mercy on us, God.

Venezuelan Migrants

Activists are warning of a looming humanitarian crisis on the border between Chile and Bolivia as growing numbers of migrants brave the harsh terrain to cross the frontier on foot. Chile closed its land borders last year as a preventive measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, but authorities have reported a surge in irregular crossings, mostly caused by Venezuelan migrants fleeing economic instability and political turmoil in their home country. 

God, we pray for those who are making dangerous journeys because they have no choice. We pray for those who are already weak -- from hunger, illness, injury, age, or ability -- and who still make such a journey. We pray for hope along the way. We pray for hospitality when they arrive at their destination. We pray that we might be people of hope, of hospitality.

A record number of migrant kids are in Border Patrol custody

As of Monday, more than 3,200 unaccompanied migrant children were in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, held in facilities that are intended for adults as they await placement in shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Due to social distancing measures, there are insufficient beds available for the large number of children. Under the law, migrant kids must be transferred from Border Patrol custody to HHS within 72 hours, so they can get a case manager and attempts can be made to reunite them with family or a sponsor. There has been an uptick in the number of unaccompanied children coming to the U.S. over the last few weeks, and even more are expected to cross as the weather warms up.

God, for these children, created in your image, with dignity and talents and a future ahead of them, we offer our prayers. We remember their humanity. We cry out for their protection. We pray for those who care for them. We pray for those who enact and interpret the policies which influence how they are treated. We pray for the leaders whose decisions will shape the changes that could come to U.S. immigration reform. Your will be done, Lord.

Attacks on Asian-Americans

Since the start of the pandemic last spring, Asian Americans have faced racist violence at a much higher rate than previous years. The NYPD reported that hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment jumped 1,900% in New York City in 2020. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting database created at the beginning of the pandemic as a response to the increase in racial violence, received 2,808 reports of anti-Asian discrimination between March 19 and December 31, 2020. The violence has continued into 2021, and President Joe Biden signed an executive order denouncing anti-Asian discrimination shortly after taking office in January. 

God, we pray a specific prayer for those whose identities have brought them abuse and oppression, violence and injustice. We pray that we might have the courage to consider how we might participate in these acts of sin. Forgive us, Lord, and help us to move in a new direction. Protect Asian Americans, Lord, and heal the divisions that have become so prominent.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Faith On the Phones

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) invites you to join our partnership. Bring your values to the phone lines ever Thursday until April 29th  from 5-6 pm ET/2-3 pm PT, to urge Congress and Administration officials provide citizenship for all.   Read more and register here.

Medical Assistance in Dying

The government has a short extension to finalize Bill C-7, which changes safeguards around Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). Amendments currently discussed raise concerns of coercion and may increase the likelihood of euthanasia without consent.  Let your MP know your thoughts on this legislation.

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