We remember the 58 people killed in an attack in a Baghdad church on Sunday, and pray for the survivors, families and others in the region deeply affected by this senseless violence. We pray for an end to all religious intolerance, especially in this region once celebrated for its cultural and religious diversity.
A bill permitting community acceptance committees in Israel to refuse residence applications that "are incompatible with the social-cultural fabric of the community" is ready to be approved in the Knesset. This law would make official what is already seen in practice: almost complete segregation between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Rather than further division that enables alienation, we pray for opportunities for all peoples in this land to live together in peace.
According to the Israeli NGO Ir Amim, 5,300 children in East Jerusalem are denied education because there is no room in the schools. This week several schools were opened in East Jerusalem, funded by the Palestinian Authority, to address this deficiency by the Jerusalem municipality. Salam Fayyad, the PA Prime Minister, was unable to participate in the ceremonies after threats by the Israeli authorities. We hold in prayer all children around the world who are denied the right to education and a normal childhood.
We pray for Sabeel’s Youth Program as weekly meetings and Bible study begin for the fall. May this time of fellowship and spiritual growth be a blessing for all participants and the community.