OSJ Prayers | March 2017

OSJ Prayers: March 30, 2017

Thousands Flee, Many Still Trapped in Mosul

More than 180,000 civilians have fled the western part of Mosul, Iraq, in the past month as government forces have battled Islamic State militants. Recent U.S.-led airstrikes in the city have reportedly also killed hundreds of civilians. The United Nations has warned that an additional 320,000 civilians may flee in the coming weeks. There is also concern about civilians trapped in Mosul's densely populated Old City section, where troops are advancing despite fierce IS resistance.

God, we pray for safety and an end to fighting in the increasingly horrifying situation in Mosul, and we ask for your comfort for the people who live there and who are cloaked in fear. We pray for all who make the decisions to drop bombs and advance troops: give wisdom, and lead the way toward peace.

Executive Order to Repeal U.S. Clean Power Plan

On Tuesday at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, President Trump signed an executive order that instructs the EPA to formally consider repealing the Clean Power Plan, a policy aimed at restricting greenhouse gases from power plants. The plan is the most significant part of the U.S. strategy to achieve low or zero net emissions and to keep the world’s temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius — a crucial, global commitment made in Paris. The United States’ backing away from this commitment would likely lead to cascading effects around the world.

God, we lift in prayer the creation that you love and that you call humans to care for. We pray for vulnerable people around the world, and we pray that national leaders may act responsibly with regard to air and water purity and climate change. God, work among the powerful so that justice may be done.

Bodies of Missing United Nations Workers Found

The remains of two United Nations investigators and their interpreter who went missing this month were found in an area engulfed in a violent uprising. Michael Sharp, a U.S. citizen; Zaida Catalan, a Swedish national; and Betu Tshintela, a Congolese national, were part of the U.N. Group of Experts reporting on the Congolese conflict, arms trafficking, rights abuses, and crimes against humanity.

God, we cry out to you for all the lives that have been lost in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While we know that these lives do not matter more than the lives of the countless Congolese people who have been killed, we also lament the deaths of those who risked their own safety in order to bring to light the suffering there. Bring justice and peace to the this region, Lord.

UN Calls for Investigation into Abuses against the Rohingya

The United Nations has agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar to investigate alleged abuses by security forces against Rohingya Muslims. Tens of thousands of people fled the Rakhine state after the military began a security operation last fall in response to what they say was an attack by Rohingya armed men on border posts. A UN report said the operation targeting the Rohingya involved mass rapes and killings, possibly amounting to crimes against humanity. Investigators are to provide a full report by next year.

God, we pray for all who have suffered indignity, violence, and unspeakable grief in Myanmar because of their ethnicity and religion. We remember that there are people all over the world— including Christians — who are persecuted and treated as less than human. We pray, God, that we might root out any impulse in our own hearts to dehumanize people. We ask, Lord, that justice may be done in Myanmar for the Rohingya.

U.S. Advocates: Tell Congress to Protect the Clean Power Plan!

On Tuesday, the Trump Administration signed an executive order that instructs the EPA to begin rolling back the Clean Power Plan. The plan is the most significant part of the U.S. strategy to reduce emissions to achieve low or zero net emissions and keep the world’s temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. Advocating for the Clean Power Plan is one way to be a faithful steward of creation. Ensuring its protection will keep us on a path toward lowering our carbon emissions and protecting the health and well-being of the poor and vulnerable among us.

Contact your member of Congress today in support of the Clean Power Plan, asking them to support policies that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Click here to act!

Event in Canada! Conversations about Restorative Justice: Moving Toward a New Paradigm

April 4-5, 2017: Attend a gathering hosted by IIRP Canada in which experienced practitioners and others interested in restorative justice will come together for a series of conversations to evolve restorative justice in Canada. To learn more and to register, click here!