Threats to Commission in Honduras
A commission investigating police corruption in Honduras has recently received serious threats. Association for a More Just Society (AJS) staff members form a key part of the commission. The serious nature of these threats has forced some members of the commission and their families to temporarily leave home for safer places to live. Many now have multiple armed bodyguards and must use bulletproof vehicles. Armed guards have been stationed outside the AJS office. AJS and the commission will continue their work despite the threats. The commission has removed more than 40 percent of the highest-ranking police officers. The threats reveal the powerful interests affected by the commission and the effectiveness of the justice work being done.
Powerful God, we pray for protection for the members of this commission and their families in the face of such tangible threats. God of peace, calm any fear in the hearts of commission members and AJS staff, and empower them to be brave Christians in this difficult task. God of truth, we pray that these threats would be brought to light so that Honduras may be a place marked not by impunity for corrupt police officers but by justice for those who are most harmed by corruption among those in power.
DACA and DAPA
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering U.S. v. Texas, a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The court heard oral arguments in April and will release their decision in the coming weeks. The programs involved in the suit are expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The DAPA and expanded DACA programs have been on hold since February 2015, when a Texas district court issued an injunction. A decision in favor of the U.S. would allow the programs to move forward this summer. DAPA “provides temporary relief from deportation and eligibility for work authorization to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.” Expanded DACA “provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to young people brought to the U.S. as children.”1
God, we lift in prayer the people who wait desperately for this decision—whose livelihoods, safety, and future depend on what the court will decide. We pray for the U.S. Congress to take up the cause of immigration reform and to fix the broken system that has kept so many suffering in secret. We pray for your church to show hospitality regardless of legal status.
The Paris Agreement
President Obama and India Prime Minister Modi announced that both their governments have promised to ratify the Paris Agreement, among other agreements made in a meeting Tuesday. The U.S. and India joined 175 other nations in signing on to the Paris Agreement in April, but now they must ratify it. The Paris Agreement commits to keep the “global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels,” calls for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century, and mobilizes billions of dollars for poor and developing nations. As written, the Paris Agreement requires that at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent or more of all global emissions, must ratify it before it comes into force. The announced joint commitment from the U.S. and India to ratify as soon as possible means that the world will undoubtedly cross this threshold.
God, we pray for national leaders—give them wisdom and a sense of urgency to address climate change. We pray for peoples and nations already affected by climate change around the world—especially those whose survival depends on the soil, on the ocean, on the sea level, and on rainfall. We pray that we might love one another enough to make the sacrifices necessary to make change.
Low oil prices have been catastrophic for Venezuela’s economy. After oil prices fell, Venezuela’s economy collapsed, causing shortages in necessities such as medicine, food, water, and electricity. Venezuelans are living in stark contrast to the rest of Latin America and the world. The economic collapse has especially affected hospitals, which are in worse shape than hospitals in Gaza or in war zones. Hospitals in Venezuela do not have antibiotics, pumped water for surgeries, soap for surgeons to wash their hands, or enough beds. The antibiotics that can be found are sold on the black market. People have been seen lying on the floor in their own blood, and one in five patients returns home from the hospital with a new infection.
God, we lift in prayer the people of Venezuela. Comfort the grieving, heal the sick, energize the helpers, send hope to the suffering. Forgive us, Lord, when we have celebrated the low cost of filling our gas tanks while remaining blind to the impact that those prices have on people you love in the world. God, we pray for an end to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.
1"Defending DAPA and Expanded DACA Before the Supreme Court." Immigration Policy Center. Web. 09 June 2016.