Prayers

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayer for Alvaro Garcia, who is reuniting with his family, community and land after 18 months of imprisonment following his leading role in the struggle against displacement. Christian Peacemaker Teams - Colombia has been accompanying Alvaro's village of Bella Union and El Guayabo since 2013.


Today we hold in our hearts Alvaro Garcia, human rights defender and leader of Bella Union community's struggle against displacement, who was reunited with his family on Friday October 13 after 536 days of imprisonment.


We pray that Alvaro is gentle with himself as he transitions home,

that he can connect with his family and community in meaningful ways.

May he experience joy being back on his land.

May You guide him to remain grounded in his spirituality and strength as the criminal legal case continues,

grant him the patience and grace he needs to trust in the work of the lawyers and the social organizations that are supporting the process.

May he continue to keep his spirit alive as the land struggle persists.

May he lead his community with courage, bravery and resiliency.

May Alvaro know that he is accompanied in this struggle,

that he is supported by networks larger than Bella Union and El Guayabo.

Amen.

Alvaro Garcia's joy of release
                            Alvaro Garcia released!

Prayers for Peacemakers, 12 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 12 October 2017

Prayer for Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine team and partners.  

Today, please, carry in your thoughts and prayers the Christian Peacemaker Teams work, presence and partners in Palestine. Please pray for:

1. Guidance around the new Settler Municipality and how the team can best support its partners and Palestinians in their continued resistance against these unjust structures.

2. For the children of the occupation who are growing up and having to face psychological, physical and verbal violence as well as restrictions to their play and their right to be a child.

3. For the team members to be able to sustain their important work.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 4 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 4 October 2017

Pray for strength for the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (Canada) and their allies in the struggle for true reconciliation and implementation of the UNDRIP. 

Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary as a modern country this summer, a country in the forefront of human rights according to the outside world. Yet, in Canada one of the biggest genocides in the history has taken place and it’s survivors live the outcome of it every day, suffering alone and in silence. Today the indigenous nations of Turtle Island live in poverty inside the borders of one of the richest countries in the world. The consecutive governments of what’s called Canada have let down the indigenous nations and did not uphold their part of the treaties they signed 150 years ago. As a result, the indigenous nations' land has shrunk to 0.2%. The indigenous communities have the highest rates of unemployment and incarceration in the country, staggering numbers of missing and murdered women and girls and a very poor access to health care and child welfare support.

However, this year marks also the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a declaration which if adopted and implemented would become the doorway towards restoration of the indigenous nations sovereignty over their land and alleviation of systemic human rights abuses and oppression the first nations of this land suffer from silently. Peacemakers in Canada are striving to pressure the "liberal" Canadian parliament and government to fully adopt and implement UNDRIP and start a real reconciliation that would include more than an "apology."

CPTers and delegates meet Grassy Narrows community members
CPTers, delegates and allies meet with a long-time CPT partner Judi Da Silva and her husband Bepgogoti in Grassy Narrows.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 September 2017

Prayer for an end of the neighboring countries' hostilities following Kurdistan's referendum on independence and for increased solidarity with the oppressed peoples' struggles around the world.

"Iraqi government is threatening, Turkish government is threatening, Iranian government is threatening and the entire international community is threatening. What is it? I have never had so much problems with my identity, who I am and where I come from. I did not vote for the referendum because I believe that these Kurdish leaders (...) have done nothing regarding human rights, women rights, LGBTQ rights and minority rights. They have not been able to create a democratic system that we all have wanted and lastly I do not believe in nation states." These are the words and a perspective of someone close to CPT on presumably the biggest event of this week: the Kurdistan's referendum on independence from Iraq.

The sharing continues: "Of course that is not the case at the moment, is it? A group of people have decided to hold a referendum after going though hundreds of years of oppression. And guess what: the whole world is threatening and the three neighboring countries such as Iran, Iraq and Turkey have warned that they would invade and put sanctions on the region. I really do not understand why everyone is against it? If really they all believe in human rights and democracy then why do they threaten? Why do they bomb? Why do they kill? Only in the past 6 days both Turkey and Iran have been bombing farmers in the mountains. 7 people dead and 4 wounded. Houses destroyed and farms burnt. And already fights and curfews in some small towns around Kirkuk because of the referendum. Why is that? Why has it become so easy to start wars and to kill people?"

House impacted by Iranian bombing, smoke rising, a man on the phone
On the day of the referendum Iranian military bombarded fiercely Kurdistan's border communities including CPT partners

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Sometimes we may think that people disappear only during wars or under oppressive regimes: more than 30,000 people during the dictatorship in Argentina, or 3,500 in Chile, among others. However, forced disappearances are a reality and a political strategy also under the so called "democratic governments." More than 4,000 missing indigenous women in Canada, 10,000 missing refugee children in European union, more than 60,000 disappeared in Colombia from the hands of various armed and state actors often receiving support from the United States of America.

Today we would like to pray for justice and peace for the families and communities of the forcefully disappeared people. We would like to pray that they may find the truth of what happened to their loved ones. We also want to pray for freedom for those still alive and held for their political views, noncompliance or engagement in a struggle for rights and freedom of the oppressed. Today we carry in our thoughts and prayers Santiago Maldonado who the Argentine National Guard abducted in their violent attack on Mapuche indigenous community. We ask for his release.

A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons.
A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons. Photo: Caldwell Manners

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 September 2017

Today we are witnessing the horrors of yet another genocide, that of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Reports talk about the indiscriminate killings, mass rapes, of homes and villages destroyed and deliberately set on fire. Especially revolting are horror stories of children slaughtered with knives. Abuses are rampant in the form of torture and other punishments.

"The brutality is unthinkable. They're killing children. They're killing women. They're killing the elderly. They're killing able-bodied men and boys," a human rights activist reports, "It is indiscriminate.”

We urge all peace loving people to come together and pray for Peace in this region of our world today.

 Banner #pray for Rohingya
Photo from Reuters

Prayers for Peacemakers, 6 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 6 September 2017

Pray for the nearly 800,000 "dreamers", who based on the US presidential decision are in danger of losing legally provided permission to work, study and live in the USA and of deportation to countries they left as children.

Your classmate, your colleague, your neighbor, your friend, your partner, the person who helps you in the shop, the person who shakes your hand in the church, any one of them could be a "dreamer."

"Dreamers" are called women, men, people who arrived to the United States of America as minors before their 16th birthday and have lived there since 2007 or longer. Most of them came from Mexico and different countries of Central America.

Yesterday the president of the United States announced the end of the program that has provided legal temporary immigration status to the "dreamers." Nearly 800,000 people will lose their legal protection and permission to work, study and live in the USA. They are in danger of being deported to places they have not known since being children or infants.

Let us pray for all those who came to the USA following the difficult decisions made by their families and adults around them. Let us pray for their safety and protection so that they may continue living their lives in the USA. Let us pray for all who act in solidarity with the "dreamers" and others deemed "illegal" by nationalistic segregation. Let us work together to change the increasingly restrictive and selective immigration policies of the countries we live in.

People holding banners: Protect all immigrants, and You say I'm just a dreamer but I'm not the only one.
           Photo from Al Jazeera

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayer for members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society whose lives are in danger for voicing their opposition to the approaching referendum on independence, and for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team in their work. 

Ruling parties of Iraqi Kurdistan prepare the people of the region and of the world for an unprecedented referendum vote on independence of this part of Kurdistan to take place on 25 September. Many who support the Kurdish peoples' century-long struggle for self-determination cherish this historic event. For obvious reasons, Iraq alongside Kurdistan's oppressive neighbors and the USA oppose this political move. However, based on radically different grounds, also many Iraqi Kurds themselves declare: "No for now!"

"No for now" is a movement that a broad group of parliament members, business people, journalists, religious leaders and members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society started. They want independence but not on the current terms as dictated by the today's ruling parties. They ask for an open and direct democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of expression. Iraqi Kurdistan's security forces have used threats, abductions, beatings and other forms of violence to silence them. CPT in Iraqi Kurdistan accompanies some of the members of "No for now" campaign. This week the team published a report about these abuses against freedom to voice publicly one's concerns and opinions.

Please pray for Sherwan Sherwani, a journalist and human rights defender, Farhad Sangawi, a member of Parliament and journalist, Mullah Saman, religious leader and advocate for women rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, and all others who those with weapons attempt to silence. Please pray for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team as they amplify voices and accompany those who speak against this oppression. Please remember in our prayers all those who do not keep silent in the face of tyranny and violence. Let them inspire and encourage us to follow their example.       

Please, read and share the newest CPT Iraqi Kurdistan report.

Two Iraqi Kurdish activists threatened by security forces
Photo: Sherwan Sherwani, journalist and human rights defender (left) and Farhad Sangawi, journalist and a member of Parliament (right), threatened for their involvement in "No for now!" campaign.

Oraciones por la paz, Agosto 24, 2017

Oraciones por la paz, Agosto 24, 2017

Agradecimiento y oración para bendecir a las diez personas que recientemente se graduaron de la capacitación para hacedores de paz de ECAP.

Demos gracias a las 10 maravillosas personas que terminaron y se graduaron exitosamente de la capacitación intensiva de un mes para hacedores de paz de ECAP. Est@s 10 hacedores de paz emprenderán diferentes viajes en los equipos de ECAP y/o en sus comunidades alrededor del mundo.

La capacitación fue una hermosa y profunda experiencia de transformación, la cual no es nada fácil. Las sesiones experienciales de la capacitación requieren de la presencia y el compromiso de cada un@ de l@s participantes, así como también de la apertura para ser tranformad@s. L@s graduad@s experimentaron un gran número de situaciones difíciles, las cuales tuvieron que procesar de manera individual y luego en grupo para continuar creciendo juntos como comunidad. Una persona tuvo que abandonar la capacitación de manera intempestiva, otro tuvo que lidiar con una inesperada situación de salud. Los participantes de la capacitación también tuvieron que lidiar con el hecho de que cinco de las personas que también habían sido invitadas a la capacitación no pudieron asistir gracias a las opresivas políticas de visado o a circunstancias personales. Sin embargo, pese a todo esto, hoy celebramos junto a est@s 10 hacedores de paz de Brasil, Uruguay, República Checa, Alemania, Canadá y EE.UU.  que se graduaron de la capacitación, l@s cuales compartirán y practicarán todo lo que ell@s han aprendido. Oremos y pidamos por la bendición y la guía divina en sus nuevos caminos, en sus regresos a casa y en las transiciones a la nueva vida y a sus nuevos compromisos laborales con ECAP.

Esta fue la capacitación número 48 que Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz ha organizado durante sus 31 años de existencia. Más de 500 personas han sido capacitadas para poder ser parte de la organización y para fortalecer sus habilidades como hacedores de paz. Estamos profundamente agradecidos por el compromiso de cada una de las personas que ha hecho parte de este viaje para hacer la paz, bien sea como participantes de las capacitaciones o en hacer, a través de diferentes formas, que las capacitaciones sean posibles, o acompañándolos con una oración.

Graduacion de la capacitacion en Chicago

Prayers for Peacemakers, 24 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 24 August 2017

Thanksgiving and prayer of blessing for ten people who recently graduated from the CPT training for peacemakers.

Let us give thanks for the ten wonderful people who successfully accomplished and graduated from the month-long intensive CPT Training for Peacemakers. Their peacemaking journeys will continue on various CPT teams and/or in their home communities around the world.

The training was a beautiful and deeply transforming experience and yet by no means easy. The experiential training sessions require presence and engagement of one's whole being and willingness to be transformed. The graduates experienced a number of difficult situations and processes both individually and growing together as a community. One person had to leave the training abruptly, another dealt with an unexpected painful health condition. The trainees were missing five other people who could not come due to oppressive visa policies or personal circumstances. And yet today we celebrate with ten peacemakers from Brazil, Uruguay, Czech republic, Germany, Canada and the U.S.A. who have successfully accomplished the training and will go forth into the world to practice and share what they had learned. As we pray, let us ask for blessing and divine guidance on their new ways, returns to home communities and transitions to new life and work with CPT.    

This was the 48th training that Christian Peacemaker Teams has organized and held during its 31 years of existence. Over 500 people have trained to join the organization and to strengthen their peacemaking skills. We are deeply grateful for everyone committed to this journey of peacemaking, for all who participate either in the trainings or in making them possible through numerous ways of support and accompaniment of prayer.

10 graduates of the CPT training in Chicago 2017