Pray with India, December 17, 2023
Lectionary Selection: Psalm 126
Prayers for India
Almighty God, we thank you for your call to be partners in your divine mission and coworkers in your reign of love, peace, and justice here on earth. We thank you for your promise of being with us always as we counter and confront the gods of the earth in their manifestations of Corruption, Communalism, Patriarchal Structures, and Casteism. We come before you with hearts filled with hope and gratitude, lifting up prayers for our beloved country, India. We thank you for the diverse tapestry of cultures, faiths, and people that make up this land of India. Lord, we pray for peace, unity, and prosperity to flourish in every corner of our nation.
We thank you for the faith in your son Jesus, who challenges us to stand in solidarity with the least, the homeless, the lost, the betrayed, the last, and those at the periphery in the church and society. We thank you for your spirit, which empowers us to embrace new ideas, visions, and dreams to become your prophetic voice in this world. We bring before you the grave issue of human trafficking, a scourge that plagues our society. We ask for your strength and wisdom to empower us in the fight against this heinous crime.
We thank you, Lord, for your commission to your church to pluck and break down, destroy, and overthrow structures that divide us in the name of region, language, color, gender, and hierarchies. Help us to partake in the reign of your kingdom where we overcome fear through our faith in you and strive to bring justice where there is injustice, peace where there is violence, freedom where there is bondage, and love where there is discrimination and exclusion. In the name of Christ, hear our prayers, O Lord our God.
Mission Moment from India
The Godly work of combating human trafficking is a sacred mission rooted in the principles of dignity and peace. It involves rescuing and restoring the lives of those trapped in the darkness of exploitation, offering them hope, and upholding their inherent worth as children of God.
The Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) program of the Diocese of Durgapur of the Church of North India (CNI) is a longstanding initiative, the accounts of which have been continuously shared on the Global Ministries website over the years. The liberalizing and globalizing economy is only making this issue worse by people being forced to leave villages in search of work and the market’s effort at putting a price tag on everything from commodities to human lives. Situated on the border between India and Bangladesh, the prevalence of human trafficking is very high, and the Diocese of Durgapur is one of the chief institutions that is trying to combat it.
Direct action in preventing human trafficking is an ongoing involvement of the AHT program of the Durgapur Diocese. Lack of awareness and economic pressures make people who live within the geographical area of the diocese fall prey to the promises of a better life by way of employment elsewhere or beneficial wedding prospects for young girls, as a lure for them being trafficked and turned into the sufferers of present-day servitude.
Hence, educational efforts among church members and persons of other faith traditions are an intimate part of the AHT program’s intervention. Recently, a seminar was organized by the Diocese of Durgapur. The seminar aimed to educate and empower the participants on the issue of human trafficking, which is a grave violation of human rights and dignity.
The seminar began with The Rt. Rev. Sameer Issac Khimla, the Bishop of Durgapur Diocese, as the guest of honor. His keynote address highlighted the biblical perspective on human trafficking’s dire effects on human dignity and freedom. The bishop passionately urged vigilance, reporting, and community involvement, motivating attendees to combat this injustice.
The chief guest was Mr. Subrata Gorai, the Treasurer and acting General Secretary of CNI Synod. He emphasized the need for unity and collaboration within the Church of North India (CNI) to combat trafficking effectively. He also shared insights and challenges faced during the last 13 years of anti-trafficking activities in the Diocese.
Pastor Roque Coutinho, an expert in the field, shared practical knowledge on identifying, rescuing, and rehabilitating trafficking victims. He shed light on the various forms of trafficking and the signs that can help detect cases. He stressed the importance of providing holistic care to survivors.
Approximately 270 people from various Pastorate attended the seminar, and it was a significant event aimed at addressing the issue of human trafficking through a Godly perspective of dignity and peace.
The seminar concluded with Rev. Sumanta Naru expressing gratitude to all involved in making the event successful. He hoped that the seminar would inspire collective efforts in pursuing freedom and dignity for those affected by human trafficking, aligning with the seminar’s Godly mission of upholding human dignity and peace in the face of this heinous crime.
Prayer and Mission Moment written by Mr. Raja Moses, the Project Coordinator of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program of the Diocese of Durgapur of the Church of North India
Partners in India
- Center for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI)
- Student Christian Movement of India
- Christian Medical College, Ludhiana
- Christian Medical College, Vellore
- Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI)
- Private: Indian Samaritans, New Delhi
- Pravaham, Vellore
- Tamilnadu Theological Seminary
- Lady Doak College
- Private: Henry Martyn Institute
- Family Village Farm and King’s Matriculation
- Deep Griha Society, Pune
- Darjeeling Tibetan Refugee Center and Tibetan Children’s Village
- Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA)
- Church of South India (CSI)
- Church of North India (CNI)
- United Theological College, Bangalore