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OSJ Prayers

Worsening Conditions in Yemen

The ongoing war in Yemen has killed more than 7,000 people and forced 3million from their homes. It is estimated that child malnutrition rates have jumped by 200 percent in two years and that 50 percent of medical facilities in Yemen are no longer functioning. The United Nations estimates that 14 million in the country are at risk of hunger and that half of those are struggling on the brink of famine. In addition, the lack of clean water has caused a recent outbreak of cholera.

Lord, hear our prayer for Yemen. Bring medicine, bring food, bring help, bring hope—bring an end to this war. We are fatigued by all the news of places in the globe where it seems chaos and grief are overwhelming. Out of this darkness, bring light, O Lord.

Philippines Violent Anti-Drug Campaign

Since President Duterte of the Philippines came to office in June, a brutal anti-drug campaign has gripped the nation. The president has ordered the slaughter of anyone suspected of dealing or using drugs—a mandate that police and vigilantes have taken seriously. At least 2,000 people have been killed by police alone. Beyond those killed in official drug operations, there have been more than 3,500 unsolved homicides since July 1. Reports indicate that 35,600 people have been arrested and that 727,600 drug users and 56,500 dealers have surrendered, leading to overcrowding in  prisons.

God, we pray for the people of the Philippines who are being oppressed by their own government. We pray for those imprisoned, those grieving the death of someone they love, and those attempting to go about their daily living in communities that feel so unsafe. We pray for global awareness of President Duterte’s oppressive rule, and for global leaders to denounce it and work toward its end.

Syrian Rebels Call for Truce

Syrian Rebels have called for a five-day truce to allow the evacuation of civilians after withdrawing from their last strongholds. They state that civilians are in great danger, and they are willing to support any effort to ease their suffering. The United States and five other countries have issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire to allow further aid into rebel-held areas. The Syrian government has denied any further ceasefires.

Lord, we pray that this truce would allow for escape for desperate people trapped in Syria. We pray for smart, swift, creative, and hopeful policies to emerge from the nations embroiled in this conflict, and we ask that by your power, Lord, the nations would work toward the good and safety of people most victimized by this horrific war.

Abortions Hit New Low in U.S.

The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to their lowest levels in decades. The latest annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incorporating data from 47 states, said the abortion rate is down 5 percent from 2012. The CDC suggests several factors are behind this decline, including a drop in adolescent pregnancies, expanded coverage of contraception costs by health care plans, and increased use of effective, long-lasting contraceptive methods.

God, we are so grateful that there is cause for celebration—we give you thanks for the news of fewer abortions. We pray for more policies to emerge that are effective in making the world a place where abortion doesn’t happen, and where human life is protected both in the womb and in the world.

Advent Devotional Series

It’s not too late to sign up for Advent devotions! World Renew and the CRC Office of Social Justice have been sharing a devotional series for Advent 2016 called The Things That Make for Peace to help orient your Christmas season.

Read stories about peacemaking from CRC partners around the world, and learn about times and places where we see glimpses of the kingdom of God and the peace that it brings. To sign up, go to crcna.org/advent.

OSJ Celebrates with Standing Rock Sioux

The Office of Social Justice celebrates with our Indigenous brothers and sisters for the recent decision on the Dakota Access pipeline. Check out our most recent newsletter to hear from Indigenous CRC voices and for ideas on how to stay engaged with Standing Rock through education and advocacy.