Friday, April 15, 2016

14/4/2016 English

Building plans were frozen in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa, located in southern Jerusalem. While a request for the building of homes on Palestinian, privately-owned land was denied by the Israeli court, a similar request by Jewish contractors in a neighborhood nearby was readily approved. A petition requesting a reason be given for this discrimination has been answered with the excuse of political reasons, that must be kept secret for security.

God of justice, we lift up our frustration and anger to you at the unfair treatment Palestinians receive in comparison with their Jewish neighbors. The discrimination against one side is obvious and painful. Be with those residents of Beit Safafa who would like to build on their land, but cannot. Help us to find a way forward that leads to peace.

Lord, in your mercy…

Human Rights Watch, an international non-profit organization, recently released a report documenting Israeli police abusing detained Palestinian children. The number of children arrested has dramatically increased since October 2015, and there have been numerous cases of violence and unnecessary force during arrests, as well as children being questioned without an adult guardian present, which goes against international humanitarian laws.

God of mercy, we mourn for these children who have been mistreated by what is supposed to be a system of justice and law. We mourn too, for those whose stories have not been heard, and who remain locked in prisons, away from their families and without proper trial. We ask that you send your Holy Spirit to be with those who are suffering, and to give them hope that one day this injustice will end.

Lord, in your mercy…

The Palestinian neighborhood of Ras Khamis is located within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but was geographically cut away from it, due to the separation wall. Because of this, Jerusalem no longer provides for many basic services in Ras Khamis, including plumbing, infrastructure, and trash pickup. To counter this, a group of Palestinian youth formed a local council to solve these problems, and recently collected over $531,000 from residents, to build a new road through the neighborhood.

God of all, we celebrate with the residents of Ras Khamis in their success at taking matters into their own hands and building a much needed road through their community. We pray that their determination inspires others who are living in similar, unjust circumstances, and that it will show youth all over Palestine that they have the power to enact positive change.

Lord, in your mercy…

This Friday Sabeel will host a community Easter egg hunt in Bethlehem for children living in orphanages. Over 90 kids are expected to participate, and the weather is predicted to be sunny and warm. The hunt was planned for mid-April so as to fall between both the Western and Eastern celebrations of Easter.

God, we thank you for this opportunity to share joy and happiness with children whose lives have not allowed for much of that. Be present with those who come out on Friday, and let it be a moment for them to forget the current political struggles, and instead rejoice in the good news Easter brings.

Lord, in your mercy…

We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of East Timor, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Lord, in your mercy…

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