Prayers

Prayers for Peacemakers, 16 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 16 August 2017

Pray for those who came together to stop hate in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Pray for the many activists groups that came together to stop hate in Charlottesville, Virginia on behalf of all of us. Pray that as they recover from the brutal day, they are able to find comfort and trust that the Eternal One is with them, even in these mysterious, deadly times. Pray that all those injured find healing, and that people of color and religious minorities--indigenous and immigrant, Jew, Buddhist and Muslim--find new allies in the face of continual onslaught of racist violence across the US South and the nation.

memorial Heather Heter

Photo credit: Vice News.

Psalm 73:23

I am always with You.
Though my heart is troubled and I’m filled with dread
I turn to face Your Mystery
Though I’ve been lost inside my head
I open to Eternity. 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

On the occasion of the international observance of the Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, let us pray for and engage in active solidarity with the indigenous peoples struggle for their rights and protection of land.

This week the world observes the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The indigenous peoples have too often been erased and silenced from the history and the present. The discussions about the future rarely consider indigenous peoples' voices and reality. Yet, their voices and message sound clear and louder each day. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the world and regional power groups adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now is the time to implement it. Especially and more so among the people of faith, who have committed to worship and follow the God of peace, justice and love.

Let us reflect on what actions could we take in solidarity with the indigenous peoples who struggle to reclaim their cultural realities and to protect their lives, land and resources. Let us pray that we might comprehend more clearly what actions do we as people of faith need to take. Many of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams are descendants of settlers on lands of others. And some of us come from communities massacred and dispossessed by others. Let us pray for the renewal of strength and energy for the indigenous organizers and communities who ask for respect for their lives, rights and for just and equal opportunities. Let us pray for those who committed to live and work as allies and in solidarity. Let us carry in our thoughts and prayers members of the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team in Winnipeg, Canada.

Youth from Grassy Narrows

Consider watching a music video from an indigenous community of Grassy Narrows that CPT partners with.

Also, here you may read the latest updates from the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Pray for the Yazidi people of Iraq whose genocide began three years ago. Pray for freedom and restoration of life for several thousand women and children still in the hands of ISIL.  


How to pray for people undergoing a genocide? What can we pray for?

On 3 August 2014, Daesh (known also as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) invaded, pillaged and took control of the city and region of Sinjar (also known as Shingal) in Northern Iraq. Majority of the nearly 170,000 inhabitants of the region identified as members of a unique and ancient ethno-religious group that names themselves Êzidî, or Yazidi.  Daesh massacred around 5,000 men and took into slavery over 7,000 women and children. The rest of the people fled to a nearby mountain where many died of thirst, hunger and temperatures reaching above 48C/120F.

In the following days and weeks over a hundred thousand Êzidî survivors reached the relative safety of Kurdistan region of Iraq, while thousands stayed in displaced peoples' camps across the border in Syria, or on the Sinjar mountain. Thousands of others embarked on a grim journey towards the European Union.
 
Today, most of Shingal, though free of ISIL, lies in ruins and desolate. Several thousand women and children that Daesh kidnapped and enslaved found freedom or death. Several thousand continue to endure slavery and sexual exploitation. Their relatives keep on searching for them.

We might pray for Êzidî women, youth and children who have endured the seemingly unbearable and hope that they may find new life, freedom, healing, justice and peace. We might pray that the families be able to reunite with their loved ones. We can carry in our prayers Êzidî peacemakers who have reclaimed their lives despite displacement and unimaginable suffering and loss, and established initiatives and organizations of support, accompaniment, justice, and communal restoration and healing.   

Yazidi girl recites a poem in commemoration of the genocide

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayer for participants of the 48th CPT's training for peacemakers.

Eleven peacemakers from Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and the USA are training in Chicago, USA to become members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). This one-month-long training is an intense time for those who are discerning their future with the organization. Trainees explore their personal and group strengths and challenges, share deep emotions and experiences and learn new skills needed for the work and life on one of the teams of CPT. The training days are long, busy, tiresome, and filled with stress as well as joy.

Let us pray for the trainees: their emotional and physical well-being, health and resilience as they continue to grow, experience and internally transform. Let us give thanks for their commitment to building partnerships that transform violence and oppressions. Let us also hold in our prayers the trainers and members of the administrative team of CPT who are accompanying and supporting this training in Chicago. Let us also remember when we pray the five peacemakers from Palestine, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan and Netherlands who oppressive structures and personal and health emergencies prevented from being able to come and take part in this training.

Chicago Training team poses in front of a banner "50 years od suffering - US-Israeli occupation of Palestine

On 21 July training participants alongside CPT members and supporters carried out a public witness action to encourage consumers to stop buying products that supoort occupation of Palestine.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 July 2017

Pray for freedom and protection for three young men at risk of deportation from Lesbos, Greece, who have been on a hunger strike for over three weeks.

Today, we would like to carry in our prayers Amir Hampay from Iran and Hussein Kozhin and Aresh Bahroz from Iraq who Greek police has held in detention for nearly three months while preparing to deport them from Lesbos. Amir as a political freedom activist faces decades of imprisonment, torture and, very likely, an execution by hanging, if returned to Iran. 23 days ago the three friends began a hunger strike. They ask for political protection and reversal of the deportation order. Their health condition is deteriorating.

In act of solidarity and love, Amir's brother Arash Hampay has also begun a hunger strike in a public square of Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos. Today marks the 22nd day of his hunger strike. Arash asks for a release of his brother and friends.

CPT Mediterranean team on Lesbos accompanies Arash. Other people, including the CPT team on Lesbos, are also joining in solidarity with Amir, Hussein and Aresh by doing a symbolic 24-hours-long fast.

Please consider joining as well.

Arash and a woman holding pictures and a solidarity banner

Prayers for Peacemakers. 13 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 July 2017

Thanksgiving for the suspension of eviction and prayers for further protection of El Guayabo community.  

Two weeks ago the CPT Colombia team asked for a worldwide prayer support for the El Guayabo community that CPT has accompanied since 2013. The local municipal court issued an order to evict 11 out of 150 families from the land that has sustained their lives for over 30 years. Today, we would like to express our joyful gratitude for the wonderful news of the seemingly impossible turning into reality. Just days before the scheduled eviction, which appeared to be inevitable, the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation, and thus on the basis of the Colombian constitution suspended the eviction.

Let us celebrate with the members of El Guayabo community that they are able to breathe more freely now. Let us give thanks to the Almighty for bringing about this miracle. Let us hold members of El Guayabo in our prayers as they continue the process of resistance and liberation from the local armed actors who want their land and will likely plan to retaliate.  

Read more about this joyful victory of El Guayabo.   

El Guayabo people stand with banners

Photo Credit: Marcos Cualbonk.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

In the shadow of big national anniversaries of Canada and the USA, let us remember in our prayers all Indigenous peoples of the Turtle island and their struggle and pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team and its partners.    

This week two countries on the Turtle island celebrate important anniversaries of their existence as sovereign states: 150 years since the creation of Canadian confederation and 241 years since the declaration of independence and formation of the United States of America. The grandiose patriotic celebrations and media coverage rarely remember the impacts of these historic events on the Indigenous peoples who had lived on and cared for these lands and nature for thousands of years. 

Today, let us remember in our prayers the Indigenous nations of the Turtle island who “official histories" have attempted to ignore, erase and silence. Let us pray for the descendants of settlers, who built their country on genocide and land appropriation, because they (and we) are given an opportunity to learn about the past in order to understand the presence. Let us ask the Creator to lead us on the path of transformation to become good allies and partners of future change. Let us pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team and all their partners who play a pivotal role in these efforts.

Decolonization Road sign 

Oraciones por la Paz. Junio 29, 2017; Acción Urgente de Oración: Orden de Desalojo de El Guayabo

Oraciones por la Paz. Junio 29, 2017

Acción Urgente de Oración: Orden de Desalojo de El Guayabo para el 5 de julio

 
  Un saludo fraterno de los Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz Colombia

Le estamos enviando esta Acción Urgente de Oración para la comunidad de El Guayabo. Se trata de una comunidad de 250 familias que Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz ECAP ha acompañado desde el 2013. Durante más de 30 años aproximadamente 60 familias cultivan tierras cercanas a la comunidad. En la década de los 1980 Octavio López era dueño de la tierra y después de varios problemas económicos decidió dejar la tierra a unas familias del Guayabo para cultivarla. Treinta años después, Rodrigo López, un hombre que afirma ser hijo de Octavio, quiere tomar la tierra de estas familias.

Boy riding a bike through plantain field of El Guayabo Foto: Caldwell Manners

Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 June 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 June 2017

Last week, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Greek island of Lesbos and caused damages to a village and many buildings on the island. The CPT team on Lesbos is safe. However, the tremor cracked a wall of one of the meeting places for the refugee and local communities that CPT's partners worked hard to build.

An earthquake is a terrifying experience that may bring time of contemplation about life and conception of new perspectives. Let us pray for the safety and strength for the CPT team on Lesbos that works hard to amplify voices of their partners. Let us pray for the grass-roots movement of solidarity on Lesbos with those who seek justice and peace. May their commitment inspire us to act. 

Let us be thankful for our lives because we could lose everything in just a few seconds.

Pipka camp

Psalm 46: 1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 15 June 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 15 June 2017

On 12 June, the world commemorates the World Day Against Child Labour.* The focus of this international observance is to raise awareness and strengthen efforts to prevent child labour. According to the data of the International Labour Organization, more than 168 million of children around the world are forced into work that "deprives them of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development."**

 Child Labour