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Justice Prayers - May 15

In this special edition of Justice Prayers, we are highlighting concerns about religious persecution around the world. Lord, hear our prayers!


Persecution of Christians ‘Nearing Genocide’ in Middle East

According to a recent report, persecution of Christians, sometimes amounting to genocide, is ongoing in parts of the Middle East. The report highlights discrimination across southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, often prompted by authoritarianism, which has led to millions of Christians being uprooted from their homes -- and many have been killed, kidnapped, imprisoned, and faced discrimination. The report’s most stark finding was that roughly 80 percent of persecuted religious believers are Christians.

God, we hurt for our brothers and sisters all over the world who are suffering because of their faith. Strengthen them, Lord. Help us to learn from them. Help us to support them. Help us to advocate to end their suffering.


Religious Practices of Christians, Muslims Suppressed in China

In recent years, the Chinese government has destroyed churches, re-written Bibles, imprisoned clergy, and restricted religious practices of Christians. Persecution has also been intense for members of other religious groups. In China’s western region of Xinjiang, millions of Uyghurs (a Muslim ethnic-minority group) have been sent to internment camps where their religious practices are stifled and these people are forced to devote themselves to the communist party. The Uyghur people are just one of several persecuted Muslim ethnic-minority groups in China. Cameras and mobile apps, used as a form of police surveillance to spy on families in their homes and houses of worship, are becoming common practice.

God, we pray for people of faith -- Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists alike -- who are endangered by these restrictive practices. We pray for pastors, imams, and other religious leaders who must discern how to balance safety and boldness. We pray, Lord, that political leaders in China who create and uphold these practices may discern the oppressive error of these ways and be -- convicted to allow religious freedom, Lord.


Fire at Connecticut Mosque Believed to Be Arson

A fire on Sunday at the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven, Conn., has been ruled an intentional act of arson leaving the place of worship unusable. With Ramadan under way, the mosque had been serving as a daily gathering place for Muslims to be together as they broke their fast. The specific motive for the arson is unclear. There have been no arrests, and the investigation is continuing, authorities said. This destructive act comes at a time when places of worship throughout the United States have increasingly become targets of violence and extremism.

God, we pray for an end to acts of hatred in the United States. Lord, convict us of the ways that we may unknowingly perpetuate violence, fear, and exclusion, whether through our habits, our words, our politics, and even our faith. We pray that we, your church, will be known by our love.


U.S., U.K. Leaders Meet to Discuss Religious Freedom

Last week, during his visit to the United Kingdom, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and other faith leaders at a Religious Freedom roundtable to discuss how to protect people from religious persecution. This meeting follows a number of initiatives the two nations launched together in recent months. The two nations released a joint statement in April about assisting religious minorities in humanitarian crises -- and although the statement isn’t legally binding, it does carry political weight.

God, we pray for wisdom, for courage, for equity, for substantive and creative ideas to take hold among the world’s leaders. We pray for the enactment of responsive, just policies that will address the root causes of religious persecution. We pray for a world that allows people freedom in their faith.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Action Alert: Protect Children from Military Detention!

We can use our voice to ask Members of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 2407 and ensure that the billions of dollars sent to Israel every year are not used to abuse or detain Palestinian children. Make your voice heard!

Action Alert: This week is crucial for Indigenous rights in Canada

Bill C-262, an Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, must be sent to committee in the Senate this week. Please urge senators to be ready to vote on this important step for Indigenous rights!

Why Is Sharing about Sexual Abuse So Hard?

“Have we ever used our power to silence someone?” writes Bonnie Nicholas of the CRC’s Safe Church Ministry. 


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