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Justice Prayers - October 8th

You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. - Isaiah 57:10

Montreal Systemic Bias

A report by three independent researchers finds there is systemic bias in street checks by Montreal police but stops short of concluding officers are guilty of racial profiling. The data was collected between 2014 and 2017 on rates of being stopped by police -- Indigenous people and black people were four to five times more likely; Indigenous women were 11 times more likely than white women; young Arab people four times more likely than whites of the same age.

God, we thank you for the willingness that the City of Montreal has shown in commissioning this report. We pray that it would spark meaningful change, so that all of Montreal’s residents would be treated with dignity and equity. We pray for police officers, who bear such great responsibility, often without adequate pay and emotional support. And we pray for innovative and hopeful solutions to address the systemic discrimination that people of color have long faced when interacting with police.

More Barriers for U.S. Immigration

In its latest move to restrict immigration, the White House issued a new proclamation on Friday that will require visa applicants to prove that they will have health insurance within 30 days of entering the country, or that they can afford to cover any medical expenses.  The White House touted the proclamation as "protecting health care benefits for American citizens," arguing that uninsured immigrants create a financial burden for hospitals and doctors, forcing them to charge higher fees for Americans to cover the cost. "People who come here shouldn’t immediately be on public assistance," a senior administration has said -- although most immigrants cannot access medical programs like CHIP or Medicaid for five years or more under current law (with a few exceptions, e.g. refugees, children, or pregnant women).

God, we continue to pray for a change in the trajectory of American policy toward immigrants. We pray that the value of hospitality and welcome would be protected, so that immigraiton would remain possible for people who are not wealthy. We pray for those who are impacted by this most recent rule change -- those who are hoping to be reunited with family, or waiting for their chance to find safety from persecution.

California Sentencing Laws Change for Junveniles

California state lawmakers have rolled back laws that required judges to send children to adult courts for certain violent crimes. But the changes aren’t retroactive. This means that thousands of prisoners, sentenced while they were children, are serving sentences that state policymakers no longer endorse.

God, we give thanks for this change in a policy in California which was harming people. We pray for those whose lives remain unchanged by this shift -- those who continue to serve time for mistakes made while they were children. We pray for restoration and hope.

Evangelical Aid Workers Killed in Nigeria

Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both members of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, were killed in a video posted online by Boko Haram last month. The two young men had been helping build shelters for people living in camps, displaced by extremist violence. The murders claim to be revenge killings -- a Christian killed for each Muslim who died in past religious conflicts in Nigeria. A family member of the murdered men has told reporters that he believes if the federal government had created economic opportunities for those tempted to join extremist groups and had returned security to the country, his cousins would not be dead now.

God, we pray for the grieving family of these two men. We pray for the people they were helping in the camps, who have suffered so much loss already. We pray for those who committed these murders -- for the hopelessness and anger that brought about such violence. We pray for an end to extremism all over the world -- and for an investment in life-affirming, restorative policies and ideas that allow people to work, to worship, and to live in safety. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Understanding Our Climate Crisis 

This lecture series is designed to walk with congregations as they learn about the realities of climate change, as they seek to be better stewards of the resources they have been given, and as they find their voice to speak to their public officials about common sense climate policy that will benefit the earth, people around the world who are poor and vulnerable, and future generations.  Watch Lecture 1 now or join in live on Sunday nights.  

Asylum-Seekers in El Paso TX

Watch this interview to hear directly from the family about their experience seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border.


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