State of Emergency in Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s prime minister declared a nationwide state of emergency on Sunday, stating that months of unrest are threatening Ethiopia’s stability. Human rights groups report that more than 500 people have been killed in protests in the Oromia region since last year, when a development plan for the capital turned into larger antigovernment demonstrations over politics and human rights abuses. According to the prime minister, vital infrastructure, business, health and education centers, and government offices have been destroyed, posing a nationwide threat to the people of Ethiopia.
Lord, we pray for the people in Ethiopia who are threatened, who have lost loved ones, who are victims of violations to their rights. We pray for transparency and good governance there, and for a swift end to the danger and vulnerability that corruption and instability have created for Ethiopia’s people.
Appeal Rejected for Dakota Access Pipeline
Last weekend, an appeals court rejected the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The court said crews could resume work on private lands, bringing the construction closer to the Army Corps of Engineers land that straddles the pipeline’s controversial river crossing. It is up to the corps to grant the pipeline an easement to cross the river. It has yet to reach a final decision. In the meantime, thousands of protesters are preparing for colder temperatures—handing out warm jackets and setting up shelters that can withstand the winter.
God, we pray that justice will be done in the Dakota Access Pipeline decisions. We pray for the dignity of the Standing Rock Sioux and ask that care for your creation will be honored by all involved in the decision making.
Forgotten War in Yemen
The conflict in Yemen between the country’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabian forces loyal to the Yemeni government is in danger of becoming a forgotten war. Over the past 18 months, Saudi airstrikes have destroyed schools, homes, hospitals, and marketplaces, and over 10,000 people have died. This week 140 people in mourning were killed at a funeral hall in the capital by an airstrike. Saudi Arabia has not claimed responsibility and has announced an inquiry into Saturday's attack; the U.S. and the U.K. have both sold the Saudis billions of dollars worth of military equipment in the past year.
God, we lift up the people of Yemen whose lives are under threat because of global and political forces. We pray for peace that comes with justice, for an end to violations of human rights, and for governance in Yemen that defends the dignity of all its citizens.
Progress for COP21 Agreement
In the past couple of weeks, there has been major progress on the COP21 agreement, which aims to rein in rising carbon levels, eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, and keep global temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels recorded in the 1880s. Three of the world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States, China, and India, have now ratified the agreement. With these countries on board, the number of ratifying parties needed has been met, and the agreement will go into effect on November 4, 2017.
God, we pray for leaders who have the power to curb climate change—may they honor their commitments so that we might see real results. We pray for signs of hope that it is possible for the world to work together for the common good.