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Justice Prayers - September 9th, 2020

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  - Hebrews 13:8

Confession from Members of Myanmar’s Military 

At The Hague this week, the International Criminal Court interviewed two former members of the Myanmar military, whose testimony echoes evidence of serious human rights abuses gathered from among the more than one million Rohingya refugees now sheltering in neighboring Bangladesh. This is first time that members of Myanmar’s military have openly confessed to taking part in what United Nations officials say was a genocidal campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

God, we grieve over the incomprehensible evil that has been doing to the Rohingya people. We pray that justice will be done, that the truth will become known, and that such violence and hatred will never again occur.

Afghanistan Flooding and Migration

Nearly 1.2 million Afghans have been internally displaced by natural disasters such as floods and droughts since 2012. Large-scale deforestation driven mainly by four decades of war has contributed to widespread flooding throughout Afghanistan, prompting many in rural areas to move to the capital Kabul or leave the country. Trees have long been casualties of extreme poverty and war in Afghanistan, with many people in remote areas having little choice but to cut down forests to build houses, fuel stoves and keep warm in winter, climate experts say.

We pray for the people of Afghanistan who have struggled with such rapid changes to their lives and livelihoods. We pray for restoration of forests, of homes, of peace.

Brazil Indigenous Land

For more than three decades, the Parakana people have been fighting to protect their land in the Apyterewa reservation, in the northern part of Brazil, from illegal miners, loggers and farmers who clear large swathes of trees. A recent Supreme Court decision could allow the presence of farmers, encroaching on the land, to become legal. The negotiations - referred to by the court as a conciliation - could set a precedent for the reduction of other indigenous territories across the country.

God, we pray for those in power in Brazil to lead do justice and love mercy, to use their authority to protect the dignity of all people. We pray that economic forces would not eclipse the importance of human life or the protection of the created world. We pray for Indigenous people who, all over the world, have been subjected to injustice and oppression, and robbed of power. Bring justice, Lord.

Hunger and COVID in US

Among low-income households with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, only about 15% have actually been getting those meals, according to the results of a survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. In many districts, the majority of children who qualify for subsidized school meals aren't getting them — often because they can't get to them. And some districts say their meal-service budgets are being stretched so much by the pandemic that they could soon face cuts and lay-offs. Right now, about a third of U.S. families with children are suffering from food insecurity. For some children, school meals may be the only meals they get in a day.

For children who don’t have enough, who live in families and homes where comfort and well-being seem just out of reach, we pray. We pray that churches would become engaged in this struggle, not just to meet immediate needs but to advocate for sustainable solutions, for human dignity, and for equity among people. We pray for healing and protection from COVID-19 so that there would be fewer barriers for vulnerable people.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New Series Alert: International Students Speak

Recent events in the U.S. have brought to light the profound impact that immigration policies can have on the opportunities and plans of international students.  In this series we hear directly from international students and we listen carefully to their experiences and stories.  Make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss a blog!

Urge U.S. Elected Officials to Support Refugees 

Last year, 408 local and state elected officials from 46 states signed a bipartisan letter expressing their community’s support for refugees and asking the President to set a robust refugee admissions goal for the United States.   As Christians, we have a calling to stand up for the vulnerable and to ensure the safety and dignity of all people who might be in harm’s way. Ask elected officials to tell the President that they support welcome for asylum seekers.

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