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OSJ Prayers: May 10, 2017

Unsafe Living Conditions for Unaccompanied Child Refugees

At least 23,000 unaccompanied child refugees are living in poor and unsafe conditions in refugee camps in Greece and Italy. Camps designed to be holding centers at migrant arrival points are faced with a lack of security safeguards, water, food, blankets, and medical facilities. The European Union’s Court of Auditors calls for the appointment of a child protection officer in every camp to promote better living conditions and to prevent the exploitation of children.

For children who are so vulnerable to the forces of evil because of displacement, marginalization, and injustice, we lift our prayers. Protect them, Lord, as they seek the safety and hospitality that will allow them to find hope and a future. We pray that we might be people who embody hospitality, the love of the stranger, wherever we can.

10 Years Later, Canada's Jordan's Principle Not Fully Implemented

It has been 10 years since Jordan's Principle, which ensures that First Nations young people receive the same public services as all other young people in the country, was passed in the House of Commons. A year after the deadline for implementation, the rule has still not gone into full force. First Nations children continue to face discrimination in accessing government services on the same terms as other kids.

God of justice, we lift prayers for the First Nations children in Canada who continue to face discrimination in education and health care and public safety. For Canadian leaders willing to work tirelessly to achieve equity, we pray. We pray for indigenous people all over the world who face similar injustice, and we pray that your church might more boldly stand alongside indigenous leaders who are calling for justice.

South Sudan Conflict Forces Millions of Children to Flee

According to UNICEF and UNHCR, more than 2 million children have fled their homes as a result of the conflict in South Sudan. Children make up 62 percent of the more than 1.8 million South Sudanese refugees who have arrived mainly in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan. In addition, more than a million children have been internally displaced.

Lord, we lift our prayers for the millions of children who are in such peril in South Sudan. We pray for those who attempt to care for them, and we especially pray for the children who have no one caring for them at all. We pray for safety and for hope. May those with power in this region, as well as powerful players who are far away, work toward a lasting and just solution to the complex and devastating problems facing South Sudan.

Palestinian Hunger Strike

On April 17, 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, the Israeli policy of detention without trial (which has applied to thousands of prisoners since the 1980s), and poor conditions inside the jails. In response, the Israeli government is seeking to discredit the movement by posting footage that appears to show leader Marwan Barghouti eating, and by efforts to punish the detainees for their participation in the strike. Currently 6,300 Palestinians are being held as prisoners in Israel, 300 of those being children.

God, we pray for the well-being of these detainees. We pray for the dignity of prisoners all over the world to be protected, and for their humanitarian concerns to be addressed. We pray for your justice and peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories, and for your Spirit to work in the thousands of situations where enmity and brokenness contribute to this heartbreaking conflict.

OSJ Offering Sunday

June 11 is OSJ Offering Sunday! If your church is collecting an offering for our office, we invite you to preorder FREE bulletin inserts for that Sunday. (The deadline to order inserts is May 15.)

A prayer, litany, and PowerPoint slides for that Sunday are also available at justice.crcna.org/offering. Thanks for supporting our office!

Advocacy Works: Empowering to Be a Voice for Change

In our Do Justice blog series Advocacy Works, Freshta Muradi shares about her experience at Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.:

"I learned that you shouldn’t ever fear that you can’t make a change just because you’re not a citizen, or of a race not well thought of, or young. . . .This taught me to never underestimate the power of God in me and the work he can do through me."

To read her entire reflection and to sign up to receive more posts from this series, click here!

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