Thursday, February 4, 2010

4/2/10 - English

The Israeli military has agreed to re-establish a military base in Beit Sahour, next to Bethlehem. The site was abandoned in 2006 but recent demonstrations by settlers have convinced the military to reoccupy the base. This further tightens the Israeli grip on Bethlehem and threatens the community of Beit Sahour. God, whose Son was born in this place during Roman military occupation, never let us forget your message of liberation and hope for all people.

It was recently announced that Danske Bank, a large Danish bank, would divest from two companies involved in settlements and the Separation Wall. This decision follows several positive developments in the area of divestment. We pray that this effective nonviolent tool for encouraging companies to respect international law will gain in popularity and scope. God, give us courage and the will to take risks for justice.

Crime in some parts of the West Bank seems to be on the rise. The social fabric of many Palestinian communities is yet another of the casualties of occupation and conflict. We pray for the organizations and individuals working to counteract the effects of the occupation. May their efforts at strengthening Palestinian communities nurture tolerance and love.   

On Sunday, Sabeel-Nazareth will bring nearly 50 people from the Galilee to meet Father Manuel Musallam who served the Christian community in Gaza for many years, including during last year’s attack on the Gaza Strip. They will hear about his experiences and offer prayers for the Gazans still under siege. Merciful God, may we never forget those who are silenced or those who are mistreated. Remind us of our duty as peacemakers.

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