Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Philippines: Mark 1:14-20
We give thanks, Lord, for our sisters and brothers in the Philippines who have heard your call and have followed you. For some, living out the call of their faith has not been easy and has meant following you even to the cross. For our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who have been unjustly imprisoned, tortured, abducted and killed, we admire and respect their courage and mourn with their families and friends. They have reminded us that following you and trying to tread your path faithfully can be difficult and dangerous. In this world in which the power of money and of guns is pursued with much greater fervor than the power of your love, we pray, Lord, for your holy protection for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Keep them safe, Lord, and keep them faithful. We lift up our prayer to you, Lord, in your Son's name. Amen.
- Hundreds of people have been extrajudicially killed and hundreds more have disappeared since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became president of the Philippines in 2001. Those killed and abducted have included lawyers, journalists, students and a variety of social activists advocating for the rights of peasants, workers and indigenous people as well as members of the clergy and lay people in Asia's only predominantly Christian country. Most victims have sought to better the lives of the poor. To honor their lives and witness, we offer the prayer above.
- While hundreds of individuals have died or have never been found, only a handful of people have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted for this loss of life. The military is viewed by most observers inside and outside of the country as being responsible for most of this violence. With so few perpetrators held accountable, impunity is engendered, and the cycle of death continues. We thus pray for justice for those who have been killed and disappeared and for compassion for their families.
- The Philippines is also afflicted with corruption, from questionable election results to the awarding of government contracts and other irregularities. Therefore, we pray for those occupying public office in the Philippines to serve the interests of the people and not the self-interests of themselves.
- Land and the wealth of the nation are very unevenly divided in the Philippines. Attempts at genuine land reform since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship more than 20 years ago have often been thwarted and delayed by those who wield economic and political power in the country. Consequently, we pray for land for those who till it and a distribution of wealth that ensures that all Filipinos can enjoy an adequate standard of living.
(Prayer by Bruce Van Voorhis)
Global Ministries International Partners in the Philippines:
- Dansalan College Foundation
- Northern Christian College
- Silliman University
- Southern Christian College
- Union Theological Seminary
- United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Global Ministries Missionaries in the Philippines:
- Levi Oracion is a long-term volunteer and serves as a theology professor at the Divinity School of Silliman University in the Philippines.