Prayers

Prayer for Peacemakers 1 August 2018 Palestine

Prayer for Peacemakers 1 August 2018  Palestine

 

 

Let us hold the Palestinian people in the light.

 

(Inspired by the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)

God, make us instruments of your justice,

Where there is a false and untenable peace

let us sow dissent;

Where there is injustice, fury;

Where there is oppression, hope;

Where there is false fluorescence, profound darkness;

Where there is social depression, life;

Prayers for Peacemakers 26 July 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers  26 July 2018  Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

 

 

We mourn and pray for the migrant families entering the United States—many of whom are Indigenous— detained and separated as a result of the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies. 

 

From an Open Letter of the Union of British Colombia Indian Chiefs: “Our hearts break for the many Maya, Aztec, Zapotec, Olmec Indigenous children who are being jailed in child camps simply for traveling through their own traditional territories and those of their relatives. This is a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the denial of inherent Indigenous rights to the land that Indigenous peoples have inhabited since time immemorial.”  

 

We stand with the diversity of peoples around Turtle Island declaring #FamiliesBelongTogether as we’re reminded of the alarming rates of Indigenous children removed from their families in the name of child welfare and disproportionate rate of Indigenous youth incarcerated in Canada under the guise of justice and public safety.    

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 July 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 July 2018  Iraqi Kurdistan

 

 

Pray for the Kurdish villages that are under heavy bombings from the Turkish armed forces. Pray for the families that have lost their loved ones and those who have been displaced from their lands. Pray for an end to support of Turkish aggression against the Kurdish people in the region as well as western ambivalence.  And especially keep the family of Dunya Rasheed in your prayers as they mourn her lost life.

 On 30 June, nineteen-year-old Dunya Rasheed, a high school student from Halenia, Iraqi Kurdistan was killed as she harvested nuts with a group of family and villagers. The village lands of Halenia are in close proximity to a Turkish base that has been constructed within Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish soldiers shot a rocket directly into a group of thirty villagers, mainly children, while they were harvesting. This rocket struck Dunya Rasheed, piercing her basket full of nuts before passing through her body and immediately ending her life. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 28 June 2018

Prayers for Peacemakers 28 June 2018

2015 training group on steps of Chicago Office where
new Administrative Director will work

Pray for Christian Peacemaker Teams during its hiring process as it searches for its new Administrative Director. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 June 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 June 2018  Colombia

Pablo Santiago, a social leader from the village of Micoahumado, in the South of Bolívar, marches in Barrancabermeja after the recent
Agrarian Summit on the 2nd of June. Over 200 leaders from the region gathered to formulate a proposal and express concerns around
one of the issues that affect them most - energy and mining policies. Photo: Caldwell Manners/CPT

 

Pray for the Colombian peacemakers who, in an adverse political context, are still struggling for their rights, despite the threats to the physical and emotional integrity of them and their families.We also ask you to pray for those who wish to continue the system of injustice and inequality and threaten the lives of Christian Peacemaker Team-Colombia’s partners.

Elections just happened. A new government has been elected after the two terms – four years long each—of Juan Manuel Santos presidency. The new President, Ivan Duque, has publicly expressed his disagreement with large sections of the Peace Agreements signed between the Santos government and the FARC-EP guerrilla group. He has not only promised to try to alter them significantly but also managed to push the Senate to postpone the implementation of the judicial muscle that would implement the agreements. This has raised concerns within the international community that praised the agreements as a holistic approach to peace that searches for the truth and reparation to victims.

Moreover, Duque and his party have a political platform that is very much favourable to large business interests. His party and that of the former president Alvaro Uribe Vélez, Duque’s mentor, have historically been named by local human rights organizations as an actor in the conflict financing armed groups. Several political analysts have claimed that the changes he wants to push through Congress will protect large business interests and ignore the needs of small farmers, turn their back to victims and strip the most vulnerable Colombians of their rights.

Although the agreements brought a sense of safety and instilled hope in the hearts of many, the real threats are strong as always. Since the signing of the agreements, over 300 environmental activists, social leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated by armed groups that still exist, whether insurgent, paramilitary or state forces. Unfortunately, the Colombian state has not guaranteed this environment for peace.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 30 May 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers, 30 May 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

 

Pray for the conscience of Canadian Members of Parliament, that they will be moved to support Bill C-262 on 30 May. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a blueprint for reconciliation.  A majority vote will ensure that Canadian laws are in harmony with UNDRIP.

As we anticipate the vote, the people who walked on the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights one year ago, including two CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team members, are attending Indigenous Cultural Camp at Blue Quills College, Alberta.  They are listening and learning of cultural traditions and spiritual ceremony practices of many Nations, especially those of Treaty 6, Alberta.  In this way, they are broadening their understanding of what solidarity means and increasing their ability to be strong allies with our Indigenous relatives.

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018  Lesvos

Pray for the LGBTIQ+ refugee community on Lesvos who are both living with and who have fled persecution, discrimination, and violence because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

 On Lesvos there are approximately 8,500 officially registered refuges, 6,500 of them are residing in Moria camp, otherwise known as Moria concentration camp. The refugees who fill the barbed-wired walls are living in horrible conditions, have no privacy and no sanitary facilities to speak of. For the LGBTIQ+ community, Moria is a living hell. On a daily basis they have to deal with discrimination, harassment, verbal and sexual violence perpetrated by other refugees, the migration service and the police.

 - “Due to the way I dress, I am already subjected to mockery and homophobic abuse. People go as far calling me a mistake of nature, saying that I am shameful for my country. The same verbal abuse that I suffered in my country—it hasn’t changed here in Moria. […] For gay people like us, Moria is hell.” (Abigail, Cameroon)

 -"Three policemen surrounded me in the street in [Lesvos' principal town] Mytilene and touched my ass, only me, because I am effeminate. They asked if I had a condom with me.“ (Suad, Irak)

 No access to a fair asylum procedure. LGBTIQ+ people have to prove their identity during the asylum procedure during which time they also face homophobic and transphobic sentiments and remarks.

 "The interviewers told me I'm not really gay because I'm 'active'. The interrogators followed an "Islamic rule" that only the receptive partner in anal intercourse, "the one who is taken," is gay.” (Suad, Irak)

 For people who have to keep their sexual orientation secret their entire life out of fear, these things are horribly traumatic. Added to this is the fact that most of the translators also live in the same camps, and are therefore in a position that can endanger the asylum case of the LGBTIQ+ person.

 When the LGBTIQ+ person does not come across as “queer enough” in the initial interview,  the officials do not believe their story, and the person is at risk of getting deported back to Turkey or their home country. Especially the people who come from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cameroon are at risk of getting rejected. They are seen as “economic refugees” and their process gets quickly recorded and closed, while in their home-countries homosexuality is criminalised and LGBTIQ+ people have to deal with discrimination and violence on a daily basis.

 Find out more at Lesvos LGBTIQ+ Refugee Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018  Colombia

Pray for human rights defender Lilia Peña and her family as they heal from the trauma of threats to their lives.

On 9 May 2018,  witnesses state that four masked and armed men entered the home of human rights defender Lilia Peña, threatening the lives of her elderly father, her housekeeper and two of her grandchildren. For approximately twenty minutes the armed men held the group at gunpoint repeating several times to Peña—who pleaded with them to take whatever they wanted but not harm anyone—“We´ve come here to kill you b***h.  Through the window she noticed another man who gave a signal to the men inside. The four men grabbed a laptop, a projector, three  cellphones and left.  As they left they shouted, “If you scream we will kill you.”

Peña, the co-founder of the Regional Association for Victims of State Crimes (Spanish acronym ASORVIMM) has received threats on numerous occasions.  In 2013 CPT accompanied Lilia for several days after someone threatened to throw a grenade into her house.  

Being a human rights activist like Lilia is an incredibly risky venture. According to the Colombian government's Human Rights Protection Office(Defensoria del Pueblo) from January 2016 to the 27th of February 2018, 282 community leaders and human rights activists have been murdered. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 9 May 2018 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers 9 May 2018  Palestine

 

Pray for a time when Palestinian children in Hebron are free to spend more time learning, playing and enjoying activities with friends instead of contemplating ways to strike back at the oppression under which they live.

On Fridays when school is out and many people have a day off work, it is common in Al Khalil (Hebron) for clashes between Israeli occupying forces and local young men to occur.  The constant presence of such clashes normalizes the experience for the younger children who live amongst the conflict and observe it in action. The result is that boys, often preteen in age (as seen in the photo), also choose to participate in these clashes. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 25 April 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers 25 April 2018

 
 On Friday April 20, at the terminal of theTrans Mountain pipeline expansion, a small group of faith leaders hold copies of United Nations Declaration on 
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo Credit: Christine Boyle.

Pray for religious leaders and all people of faith and spirit who, on 28 April, will join the Coast Salish people on Burnaby Mountain, British Colombia, Canada. The Coast Salish members, spiritual leaders and youth will be on the land continuing to resist the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project. They are witness to the danger of the oil project that is threatening the Coast Salish lands, waters, culture and spirit.

Although this movement has continued for the last seven years, there have been huge marches and actions as the construction is set to begin.   Recently, at the end of March, 176 people were arrested for blocking the Kinder Morgan terminal at the Burnaby Mountain site. Last week, BC Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck has called for them to face criminal prosecution. Amnesty International Canada cautions against this move, saying that criminal charges must be saved for situations where safety, lives or serious concerns about property damage are at stake. People have the right to nonviolent, peaceful protest.