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Justice Prayers - November 16, 2022

"I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning." - Psalm 130:5-6 MSG

Explosion in Turkey’s Istanbul kills 6, wounds 81; 46 arrested 

At least six people have been killed and 81 others wounded when an explosion rocked a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul, in what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a bomb attack that “smells like terrorism”. On Sunday, ambulances raced to the scene on the packed Istiklal avenue, which police had quickly cordoned off. The area, in the Beyoglu district of Turkey’s largest city, had been crowded as usual at the weekend with shoppers, tourists and families. The explosion occurred at about 4:20pm on Sunday, according to officials. A video posted online showed flames erupting and a loud bang, as pedestrians turned and ran away. As of Monday, 46 individuals have been arrested.

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy. God, we pray for those so brutally taken from us. We pray for those that remain; loved ones, friends, Turkish citizens and all those who long for peace. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Israel will not cooperate with FBI inquiry into killing of Palestinian American journalist

Israel has said it will not cooperate with an FBI investigation into the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli army. Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, denounced the inquiry as “interference in Israel’s internal affairs” and said he “made it clear to the American representatives that we stand behind the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers, that we will not cooperate with any external investigation”. an outright failure to cooperate would complicate relations with Washington and reinforce claims of an Israeli cover-up of Abu Akleh’s death as she reported on a military raid on the West Bank city of Jenin in May. The FBI investigation comes after months of pressure from the highly respected Al-Jazeera journalist’s family, who accused the Biden administration of “skulking toward the erasure of any wrongdoing by Israeli forces”. The family was backed by dozens of members of Congress. The IDF initially denied responsibility for killing Abu Akleh and pointed the finger at Palestinian gunmen. But investigations by the United Nations and several news organisations concluded that the journalist was not near Palestinian gunfire when she was killed, and that Israeli forces were almost certainly responsible. The UN said that Israeli soldiers fired “several single, seemingly well-aimed bullets” at Abu Akleh and other journalists.

We decry injustice wherever and whenever it rears its ugly face, O God. We pray that if there is more to uncover, more truth to be brought to the surface, and more justice to be enacted, we pray that you might open pathways that would make it possible. We pray for the family of Shireen Abu Akleh and all who long for an end to senseless violence.

Indigenous Group Plans $451 Million Biofuel Refinery in Canada

An Alberta-based indigenous group and local first nation plan to build a C$600 million ($451 million) sustainable aviation fuel refinery to supply Calgary International Airport in an effort by indigenous communities to capitalize on Canada’s push to reduce emissions. Reconciliation Energy Transition Inc. and the Siksika Nation’s planned refinery would produce 6,500 barrels a day of fuel from canola grown on a million acres of land, much of it indigenous-owned, Steve Mason, senior managing director of Reconciliation, said by phone to reporters from Bloomberg. The project marks an effort by indigenous communities to gain a foothold in a Canada-wide push by the government and companies to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, among the largest per capita of any industrial country. The refinery announcement happened the same day as Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson said the government would grant C$800 million for approximately 60 projects to cut carbon emissions in fuels. 

Is this a step forward, God? We pray for the reduction of carbon emissions in any and all forms. We long for ecological balance, Lord, and perhaps this is a one step of many along the way. 

Sunday Shootings on 2 University Campuses 

Four students at the University of Idaho were found dead near campus in what a local official described on Monday as a “crime of passion.” Art Bettge, the mayor of Moscow, Idaho, said in an interview that the authorities were still investigating what had transpired but that the case was being treated as homicide. He said the authorities did not believe that there was a “perceivable danger to the broader public,” but declined to say how the victims were killed or whether a suspect was at large.

A University of Virginia student has been arrested and charged in the shooting deaths of three members of the school’s football team and the wounding of two other people Sunday night, university officials said Monday. The suspect is being charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, the authorities said. The university campus was locked down under a shelter-in-place order for nearly 12 hours while the authorities searched for the suspect, whom they identified as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. The university canceled classes on Monday, and public schools in the surrounding county were closed.

How many more times, God? So many in this land are steeped in violence, and so many others have been left numb by the bloodshed that has stained the soil beneath our feet. Have we no common sense; have we no solutions? Help, God.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New! Faith In Action Course

This popular workshop is now available as an online course in Canada and the U.S. Faith in Action is designed to help you grow in five key advocacy areas: research methods, key messages, letter writing, planning talking points, and setting up in-person meetings. Sharing your well-informed opinion can make a real difference on the justice issues that you care about, and can bring about long-term changes to unjust systems. Find the course at

Prepare the Way: Free Advent Devotion

Prepare the Way is an email devotional series put together by World Renew, Resonate, and CRCNA Social Justice that features reflections from people with CRC ministries around the world during Advent 2022. Sign up to receive the email devotions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Advent at

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