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Justice Prayers - November 2, 2022

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. - Proverbs 4:18 

House of Commons officially recognizes Indian Residential Schools as genocide

The Indian Residential School system in Canada has officially been recognized as genocide by the House of Commons. Winnipeg MP Leah Gazan brought forward a motion to have the Indian Residential School system officially recognized as genocide on Thursday October 27. The motion passed unanimously. The Indian Residential Schools was called a “cultural genocide” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. Today’s motion is the first time it has been identified as “genocide”. 

God, we give you thanks each and every time that the plight of those afflicted with injustice are given their due in the halls of power, as we know that telling the truth in public spaces creates ripple effects for what’s possible. God, we pray that the continued movement towards public acknowledgement of past harms leads to present and future commitments to undo those harms.

COP 27 Gathers Next Week

World leaders will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt on Nov. 6 for two weeks of climate negotiations as nations struggle to cut greenhouse gas emissions amid a global energy crisis, war in Europe and rising inflation. The conference is convened annually by the United Nations. At last year’s summit in Scotland, countries agreed they must immediately do more to prevent a dangerous rise in global temperatures. But fast action has not materialized and the consequences of climate change — including deadly floods in Pakistan, drought in the United States, famine in Africa and heat waves across Europe — are painfully clear. The ultimate goal of this year’s conference is in dispute. Wealthy countries want to focus on ways to help developing nations phase out fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy. Developing countries want a commitment on money they need to address the climate-fueled disasters they are already experiencing. Specifically, poor countries want to see a new fund to pay for things like relocating vulnerable villages or simply making up the economic growth lost to worsening floods, storms and heat waves. Industrialized nations, including the United States, have opposed a new fund in part because they fear being held legally liable for the skyrocketing damages caused by climate change.

Lord God, we pray for so much. For countries with resources and influence, we pray they might come honestly and transparently to the negotiating table. That “fearing being held legally liable for the skyrocketing damages caused by climate change” is exactly the conversation we’re supposed to be having. Lord God, let those among us who’ve benefited from a fossil fuel economy take account for its harms. And Lord, let each country, company, individual, and NGO keep coming to the table; let us not tire in this fight for our future.

Brazil election: Lula da Silva narrowly defeats Jair Bolsonaro

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has won Brazil’s presidential election against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. The election was Brazil’s most polarizing poll since its return to democracy in 1985 after a military dictatorship that Lula, a former union leader, has rallied against and Bolsonaro, a former army captain, invokes with nostalgia. It is a tradition in Brazil for the losing candidate to speak first and accept the election loss, but hours after the authorities had named Lula the winner, Bolsonaro had made no public statement on the outcome. The victory of Lula da Silva was greeted with relief by world leaders desperately looking for some good news on climate change. Lula used his victory speech to lay down a marker, promising an attempt to end deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, a crucial resource for regulating global CO2 levels. “Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all our biomes, especially the Amazon forest,” said Lula.

God, we pray a prayer of gratitude that the Earth’s lungs - your beloved rainforest in South America - are in better hands today than just days before. And yet, this is not a box to check, nor an accomplishment in and of itself. There is still great work to be done not only to avoid future destruction, but to undo harm that’s already been done. For the protection of your creation and the role Brazil plays in our global planetary system, we pray.

South Korea, India, & World Mourns in Wake of Weekend Disasters

A country sought answers on Sunday after at least 153 people were crushed to death when a crowd in South Korea surged in an alleyway during Halloween festivities. President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a period of national mourning and designated Seoul's popularItaewon district a disaster zone after the Saturday night disaster. The partiers, some still in their teens and many in Halloween costumes, were ready to enjoy the bars, nightclubs and restaurants where the revelry routinely spills over into narrow and often steep side streets. Instead, the street became filled with people crying for help, while emergency workers desperately sought to free trapped bodies and perform CPR on people splayed across the debris-littered ground. Social media footage showed hundreds of people packed in the narrow, sloped alley crushed and immobile as emergency officials and police tried to pull them free.

The death toll from the collapse of a pedestrian bridge over a river in Gujarat, western India, has risen to at least 130 as more stories emerge of the terrifying moment the structure gave way.  Local officials say about 400 people were on the suspension bridge over the Machchu River in the city of Morbi on Sunday and the atmosphere was festive. Families had come out onto the bridge to celebrate a post-Diwali religious ritual in which idols are immersed into the river. The bridge is more than a century old and dates back to the British Raj, but it had just re-opened on October 26th after extensive repairs carried out over six months by a private company. “There were a lot of young children among the dead,” one rescuer told NDTV news channel. “It was a Sunday evening so families had come out for a stroll because it’s a popular tourist spot.” Rescue operations were still under way but the purpose was primarily to find the bodies. Rescuers have been hampered by the thick algae lying on the river’s surface. “The layer of algae made the search operations in the dark a daunting task,” a local politician told The Times of India.

We are heartbroken, O God. We are horrified at bridges collapsing and people trapped in narrow, overcrowded alleys. Be present amidst suffering, Lord. Empower the helpers - medics, social workers, family members, coroners. For all suffering, mourning, wondering, we pray.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Do Justice Podcast: Season 5 

All the episodes of Season 5 of the Do Justice podcast are now live.  We discuss with great guests where the intersection of justice and worship is!  We'd love to hear what your favourite episode is.  Message us anytime at 

Support Permanent Immigration Solutions

On October 5th the Fifth Circuit Court ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Current recipients are able to maintain their status for now, but no new applications will be processed. As it has for the past two years, the future of DACA is uncertain for both current recipients and pending applicants.

A permanent legislative solution is needed to protect the lives, dreams, families, and futures of Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants, who are often exposed to vulnerable and dehumanizing conditions because of their status.

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