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Justice Prayers - March 6, 2024

I want to be a person who is not mired in inaction in the face of despair, but who works to realize Your vision for the world. Who participates in unleashing Your kingdom of peace and gentleness and justice and love.  - Kate Bowler

Inmates Escape After Attacks on Two Prisons in Haiti’s Capital

Gangs attacked two prisons in Haiti, including the country’s largest penitentiary, and allowed prisoners to escape on Saturday night, according to Haitian officials, the latest instance of escalating violence and disorder in the country’s capital, which has been ravaged by gang violence for more than two years. While details of the attack remained murky, the government of Haiti released a statement Sunday saying that police officers were unable to prevent gang members from releasing “a large number of prisoners,” adding that several inmates and prison staff were injured. Haiti’s national penitentiary held nearly 4,000 inmates at the time of the attack and the other facility, the Croix-des-Bouquets Civil Prison, held roughly 1,400, according to local human rights groups. At least two of the country’s police unions went on social media on Saturday requesting that all police officers report to the national prison in Port-au-Prince, the capital, to help control the situation and prevent the inmates from fleeing.

For years, Haiti has been ravaged by those who would seek to take advantage of the vulnerable, and Lord God, we pray for deliverance. We pray that this be resolved quickly and order is restored because the alternative - that of chaos, of violence, of poverty - is not of you, O Lord.

Demands for Canada to stop supplying weapons to Israel grow louder

Human rights advocates are accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government of misleading the public over weapons sales to Israel, which have come under greater scrutiny amid the deadly Israeli bombardment of Gaza. At issue is legislation that prohibits the government from exporting military equipment to foreign actors if there is a risk it can be used in human rights abuses. But regulatory loopholes, combined with a lack of clarity over what Canada sends to Israel, have complicated efforts to end the transfers. Dozens of Canadian civil society groups this month urged Trudeau to end arms exports to Israel, arguing they violate Canadian and international law because the weapons could be used in the Gaza Strip. In the face of mounting pressure since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7, Canada’s foreign affairs ministry has tried to downplay the state’s role in helping Israel build its arsenal. “Global Affairs Canada can confirm that Canada has not received any requests, and therefore not issued any permits, for full weapon systems for major conventional arms or light weapons to Israel for over 30 years,” the department told Al Jazeera in an email on Friday. “The permits which have been granted since October 7, 2023, are for the export of non-lethal equipment.” Advocates say this misrepresents the total volume of Canada’s military exports to Israel, which totalled more than $15m ($21.3m Canadian) in 2022, according to the government’s own figures.

We need transparency from our leaders, God. We need representative government that is forthcoming with their citizens and ultimately that which pursues peace, righteousness, and justice

Community holds vigil for asylum seeker who died after waiting hours in the cold for Mississauga shelter

Community members gathered Saturday to mourn the death of Kenyan asylum seeker Delphina Ngigi on Saturday, who died just three days after she landed in Canada. The vigil was held at Dominion Church in North York. According to the Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre, Ngigi arrived at the Mississauga shelter at 1767 Dundas Street E. at about 1 p.m. on Feb. 17 and was forced to wait outside in the cold for hours, before she was let into the lobby at about 8 p.m. Ngigi spent the night there and collapsed when she was taking a shower in the shelter the next day. She was taken to hospital shortly afterwards, was still awake and conscious at 2 p.m., but died there just after 4:30 p.m. Her cause of death has not yet been released.

How could this possibly have happened, God? We pray for the remembrance of Delphina by her family, friends, and community and that her memory might be a blessing. We ask for reform, that this might never happen again.

Israeli attacks on aid seekers continue

Al Jazeera cameras have captured Israeli forces firing on a crowd of Palestinians awaiting aid distribution at the Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City. UNRWA chief Lazzarini tells the UN General Assembly that his agency is in “uncharted territory” with “serious” consequences for global and regional security if more funding is not secured. The number of children who have died as a result of malnutrition and inadequate medical care in Gaza has increased to 16, medical sources have said, after Gaza’s Health Ministry confirms deaths of 15 children at Kamal Adwan Hospital. A UN team finds “reasonable grounds to believe” that sexual violence occurred during the October 7 attack on Israel but an official says the findings do not “in any way legitimize” further violence and calls for ceasefire in Gaza as well as the release of captives. At least 30,534 Palestinians have been killed and 71,920 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks stands at 1,139.

God of peace and justice, there is no peace and there is certainly no justice. We pray for the return of hostages, and we beg, we plead that civilians stop being killed. How absurd is it that we must ask for such things - for death and violence and kidnapping to stop? Help, Lord.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New Hearing Loop Resource for Churches

Interested in learning about hearing loop technology and the benefits of using it in your church? The Hearing Loop Training Recording includes experts in the field sharing how to use this technology in your church building and how it can benefit your congregation. In addition, we have compiled a list of active CRC buildings (both in the U.S. and Canada) that have already installed hearing loops. To access this list, click on the drop-down menu “Ministering with People with Hearing Loss,” which is a part of our Disability Resources page.  Watch Video »

Stories & Strategies

In January 2024 church members from across Canada came together to discuss some of the exciting things happening in church planting and church renewal. They heard some stories, discussed lessons for the local context, and explored resources for next steps. Learn More

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