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Justice Prayers - May 3, 2023

The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide - Isaiah 11:9 (MSG) 

U.S. Could Run Out of Cash by June 1

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Monday that the United States could run out of money to pay its bills by June 1 if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit, putting pressure on President Biden and lawmakers to reach an agreement to avoid a default.

The warning over when the United States could hit the so-called X-date provides new urgency for Democrats and Republicans to find a way to lift the nation’s borrowing cap and break a standoff that threatens to rock financial markets and upend the economy. “Given the current projections, it is imperative that Congress act as soon as possible to increase or suspend the debt limit in a way that provides longer-term certainty that the government will continue to make its payments,” Ms. Yellen said. House Republicans passed legislation in April that would raise the debt limit in exchange for deep spending cuts and roll back recent legislation that Democrats passed along party lines. Mr. Biden has blasted that bill, saying it would hurt working families while benefiting the oil and gas industry, and he has accused Republicans of putting America’s economy on the line.

Lord God, we pray for a swift solution to this impending crisis. We pray that the U.S. would pay the bills for the funding it has already authorized. What awaits the global economy should we default would hurt the poor and vulnerable the most, and so we pray for advocates, policy makers, and common sense solutions to right the ship.

At Least 5 Killed as Brazil’s battle to reclaim Yanomami lands from illegal miners turns deadly

Brazil’s battle to reclaim its largest Indigenous territory from tens of thousands of illegal miners has taken a deadly turn after at least five people were reportedly killed during 36 hours of violence in the Amazon’s sprawling Yanomami territory. The bloodshed began on Saturday afternoon when masked illegal miners allegedly launched an attack on a Yanomami village called Uxiu. The Yanomami leader, Júnior Hekurari, said he had received reports that between 15 and 20 heavily armed miners had arrived by boat and opened fire on locals. Three Yanomami men – aged 36, 31 and 24 – were shot. The oldest, an Indigenous health worker named Ilson Xiriana, died early after being shot in the head. “This barbarity will not go unanswered,” Brazil’s human rights minister, Silvio Almeida, tweeted as the government sent a high-level delegation of ministers and police chiefs to the region in response.

God, we decry these vile acts of violence carried out by illegal activities that are harming people and the planet. We pray for the departed and peace in the land. Put an end to this mining through the fierce protectors of our collective home, and bring to justice those who perpetrated this violence. 

Sudan: UN warns of mass exodus as fighting intensifies

Between 10,000-20,000 Sudanese refugees have arrived in Chad since the beginning of the conflict, according to Chadian authorities and UNHCR. David Otto, director of the Geneva Centre for Africa Security and Strategic Studies told Al Jazeera from Abuja, Nigeria that if the conflict continues, it will have “a devastating impact on the region. “[On] the same route that people are fleeing, what we may see in the nearest future if the fighting continues or spreads across, we’ll see weapons being trafficked, human trafficking happening and increasing volatility in the region,” Otto said. “The earlier we have a grasp as to the best effective solution to this conflict, the better for the Sudanese and the better for the region.” The Sudanese army has escalated its air force activities in Khartoum and Khartoum Bahri, political analyst Alhindi Ezzedine has told Al Jazeera, in what looks like a final push for victory. “It seems that the army is heading to a decisive victory in the next couple of days. After that, the army might access negotiations,” Ezzedine said.

We pray for those caught in the middle of this bloodshed and the warring factions that seek power and control over the well-being of the Sudanese people. We pray that those who are able can seek refuge, and for the helpers who find themselves caught in the middle of this conflict: we pray that they might be peacemakers and healers. 

Strike over for 120,000 public servants as union inks tentative deal with feds

Canada’s largest federal public-sector union reached a tentative contract agreement with the government overnight, covering more than 120,000 public servants across the country and bringing them back to work after a 12-day strike. The tentative agreement announced in the wee hours of Monday morning came after the Treasury Board, which oversees the administration of the federal government, tabled what it described as a “final offer” on Friday. Amidst the strike,  thousands of people have been left in immigration limbo amid canceled hearings and stalled applications, which could make it harder for the country to compete for global talent as employers face a tight labor market. The strike has affected everyone from refugee claimants whose hearings are canceled to sponsored relatives stuck in limbo, from migrant workers to foreign students, lawyers told Reuters. Canada has raised its immigration target to record-setting levels and hopes to bring in 500,000 new permanent residents a year by 2025 to help ease labor shortages in industries from construction to healthcare. 

Lord, we pray for a reasonable and just ending to this strike that delivers better working conditions for public sector employees, and ultimately delivers results for those left in immigration limbo. Lord God, we pray for the rights of workers everywhere to be upheld, for dignity, for meaningful work, for purpose.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

The Canadian National Gathering

We are excited to welcome members of the CRC from across Canada to the Canadian National Gathering in May. Your church can be part of preparing and praying for participants.

Learn More About Gun Violence Prevention
  • Giffords - an organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
  • Everytown - the largest gun violence prevention organization in America made up of nearly 10 million mayors, moms, teachers, survivors, gun owners, students, and everyday Americans working to make their own communities safer.
  • Data for Progress - “Voters Support Common-Sense Gun Control Laws That Have Proven Successful in Other Countries”

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