Last Friday hundreds gathered in Bethlehem and Ramallah for worship services in memory of the Christians killed in Iraq, followed by candlelight vigils calling for reconciliation and peace. We pray for strength, encouragement, and security for Iraq’s Christian community, which has decreased by 60% since 2003 as members have fled abroad or been killed in the insecurity following the US invasion. We also pray for the world-wide Church as it responds to the ongoing violence in Iraq, that it will push for a just peace in Iraq with security for all.
We remember our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world in prayer this Tuesday as they celebrate Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham’s obedience to God, and for those returning from the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
We thank God for the resilience of the Palestinian spirit as shown in the cultural and performing arts that continue to thrive in Palestine. We pray especially for the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in their mission “to strengthen Palestinian cultural identity through music and to enhance children’s artistic, intellectual and psychological development by making music a part of their lives.”
We pray for Assis Naim Ateek as he travels to Germany for the launch next week of the German translation of his book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation. We give thanks that his son, Sari Ateek, will be installed as a pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Maryland on Sunday, and pray for him, his family, and the ministry of St. John’s.