Reducing Methane Pollution
This week, NASA released a report that stressed the importance of reducing methane waste and pollution. Oil and gas industries currently leak, vent, and flare excess methane, causing waste and pollution. Industry leaders will convene at a national conference in Colorado this week to discuss potential standards that will reduce waste and pollution that endangers the health of workers, local communities, and the climate.
God, we pray for this meeting, asking that the important values of stewardship of resources, the dignity of workers and health of communities, and the mandate to address human impacts on climate change will be held up as guiding values.
Nearly 18,000 people have died in Syrian state jails since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, according to an Amnesty International report. Interviews with 65 survivors reveal the systemic use of torture (including rape and beatings) from prison guards and denial of access to proper medical care and basic hygiene. Amnesty International believes torture in prisons is used as a systematic attack against those who oppose the government and has called on the United States and Russia to respond.
God, for an end to the abuse and torture of human beings in Syrian prisons, we lift our prayers. We pray for U.S. and Russian leaders to indeed respond to this report, and to hold Syrian leaders accountable for this violation of human rights so that it might stop. For an end to the incredible suffering and violence that continue in this Syrian war, we continue to pray.
Canadian Immigration Detention Reform
This week the Canadian government committed to improving immigration detention practices throughout Canada. Immigrants and asylum seekers (including minors) are often put into detention while waiting for their case to be reviewed by Canada Border Services. To “address weaknesses that exist,” Canada has pledged $138 million, aiming to improve mental and physical health care within facilities, increase alternatives to detention, avoid the detention of minors, and increase transparency of detention facility functioning.
God, we thank you for a commitment to treating immigrants and refugees with the dignity that they deserve. They bear your image. May your church continue to be a hospitable presence and to push for hospitable policies in Canada and throughout the world.
Bombing in Yemen
This week a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen was bombed by a Saudi-led military coalition, killing 11 people. Yemen has been in a civil war since 2015, with major humanitarian consequences for Yemeni civilians. The United Nations had successfully put in place a cease-fire for the past three months to facilitate peace talks between the warring parties, but those talks collapsed on Saturday when airstrikes resumed.
God, we lift in prayer the many who put their lives on the line to provide life-saving aid to victims of war. We pray for an end to the conflict in Yemen, and we ask for your protection and care for women, children, persons with disabilities, those who are poor, and all others who are most vulnerable during these violent events.