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OSJ Prayers: April 27, 2017

Protests in Venezuela

Venezuela’s Supreme Court, made up of judges loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, seized power from the National Assembly last week. The ruling effectively does away with the elected legislature, which is led primarily by opponents of Maduro. Protests followed the decision, and when violence broke out, two persons were killed and several more were injured. President Maduro deployed the Venezuelan army to back up the police, resulting in the arrest of 500 protesters and reports of tear gassing and beatings.

God, we lift prayers for the people of Venezuela who are struggling to survive. As so many take to the streets in protest, we pray that their voices might be heard. We pray for an end to the tyrannical rule there, and we ask for leadership that treats people with dignity and offers solutions to the economic, political, and social unrest plaguing that country.

Man Held in Solitary Confinement for 400 Days

Recently records surfaced from Ontario’s Central East Detention Centre that report a mentally ill immigration detainee was placed in solitary confinement for 400 days because of his “bizarre behavior.” Reports suggest that this individual was initially detained because his mental health issues made him a flight risk, so he was held pending his immigration hearing. The United Nations considers more than 15 consecutive days in isolation to be torture, and the effects of the practice on those with mental illness are especially concerning.

God, we pray that this story might bring forth sustainable changes in Canada -- and draw attention to the use of solitary confinement in  other countries throughout the world. We pray for prisoners subjected to this torturous practice -- draw near to them, Lord. We pray that all who are in prison may be treated with dignity, we pray for justice that restores people and communities, and we pray that people who have experienced trauma may have opportunities and resources to help them heal and be protected from more harm.

Somalia Near Famine, Made Worse by Cholera

The latest reports from Somalia suggest that more than 6 million people need assistance because of the current drought and threat of famine. Making matters worse, say aid authorities, are recent outbreaks of cholera and other infectious diseases that have resulted in about 550 deaths. The UN also notes that this figure is “grossly underreported” and could be 10 times greater, or even higher.

God, for the desperate situation in Somalia we lift our fervent prayers. As this drought crisis looms large, we pray that the eyes of the world would not look away but instead search out compassionate and effective solutions.

Evangelicals Gather in D.C. to Stand Up for Creation

This weekend a delegation of 70 evangelicals, including many from the Christian Reformed Church, will gather with thousands of others for the People’s Climate March. After the march, they will receive advocacy training and meet with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill to ask for more faithful and just climate policies.

God, we pray for all who will advocate for policies that address climate change because of their faith. We pray that they might have courage, and be wise, and speak with truthful conviction. We pray for the leaders they will meet with — may they have ears to hear, and be compelled to act, on behalf of the earth and people who are most vulnerable to climatic changes.

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!

Be an Immigrant Ally: Run the Tulip Time 5K in Holland, Michigan!

Are you coming to Tulip Time in Holland, Mich., this year?

Join us and Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates at the 2017 Tulip Time Run to spread the message that Immigrants Are a Blessing, Not a Burden! Click here for more information on how to register.

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