Wednesday, April 6, 2016

31/3/2016 English

An Israeli soldier was filmed executing a Palestinian attacker who was already lying on the ground, incapacitaed. This calls into question, yet again, Israel’s use of excessive force against Palestinians under the guise of “security” when the assailants have already been neutralized as a threat.
-          God of mercy, we lift this horrendous attack up to you. We grieve for the unnecessary loss of this young man’s life, and lament the cycles of anger, despair, and intolerance that drive young people on both sides to violence. We ask that you be with the families of all involved, and with the community in Hebron that has experienced many other attacks similar to this one over the last few months. Open the eyes of both the international and the Israeli community to see these injustices for what they are, and to understand that the Israeli Occupation must end.
Lord, in your mercy…

More than 70 people were killed on Sunday by a suicide bomber in Lahore, Pakistan. At least 29 were children. The bomber targeted a park where Christian families were celebrating Easter, and Muslim families too were enjoying picnics and the spring weather. This is the deadliest attack in Pakistan since a school mass shooting in 2014.
-          God of justice, we mourn the deaths of Christians and Muslims alike in Pakistan this weekend. Our hearts especially ache for the lives of so many young children, who were so brutally murdered while at play. Send your spirit to encircle those whose lives were affected by this, and grant healing to those who are still recovering from their wounds. Give strength to minorities suffering from persecution everywhere, both within Pakistan, and also within world as a whole.
Lord, in your mercy…

Thursday, March 30th, marks Land Day – a day commemorated by Palestinians for the expropriation of their land inside Israel in 1976. Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrated against this confiscation of thousands of acres of their land. Six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded in these confrontations. This day is still remembered, inside Israel and on the West Bank, 40 years later, as land grabbing and illegal settlement building continues to erode the borders of a future Palestinian state.
-          God of all, wrongs done in the past continue to be done in the present, and it becomes hard to believe that things will somehow change in the near future. As we remember Land Day and the events that occurred on it, help us to believe that there is a way forward through this. Give those in power the courage to speak out against these injustices, and work towards peace.
Lord, in your mercy…

Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar celebrated Easter last Sunday, marking the events of Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The weekend was marked with much jubilation and excitement in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. There were many processions throughout the Old City and along the Mount of Olives, recalling the paths Jesus walked on these holy days.
-          Lord God, we are filled with hope at the announcement of your Son’s resurrection at Easter. The celebrations of this day remind us that the victory has already been won, and that good will always and ultimately triumph over evil. However, for Palestinians living here, sometimes it is hard to see the light of the resurrection when every day they are surrounded by the darkness of the grave. Instill hope in their hearts, God, and grant them the perseverance to continue on.
Lord, in your mercy…

We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

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