Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 12, 2023
Next Tuesday, the 20th of June, marks World Refugee Day and on that same day Kumi Now will consider the plight of Palestinian refugees. In 2021 there were 5.9 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and about one third of them live in 58 refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
- Lord, we pray that Palestinians will be granted the right of return to their homeland, the right affirmed to them by the United Nations over seventy years ago. Lord, in your mercy..
The Rev. Ann Coburn died on Wednesday, the 7th of June, in Oakland, California. Ann was ordained in Danbury, Connecticut in 1977, just one year after the Episcopal Church opened the priesthood to women. She was a strong advocate for Palestinian rights and traveled to Palestine linking with Sabeel on numerous occasions. This year she received the Cotton Fite award, in recognition for her services as Director of Fundraising for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network.
- Lord, we give thanks for the life and service of Ann Coburn and pray for her family and friends as they mourn her loss. Many friends of Sabeel expressed their sorrow at her passing at the weekly Sabeel Online Service. They particularly paid tribute to her kind and thoughtful nature and her steadfast pursuit of justice and peace in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy..
In a strategic partnership between the We Choose Life group, Dar Al-Kalima University (Palestine), the Civil Influence Forum (Lebanon), Masarat for Cultural and Media Development (Iraq), and Al-Sabeel (Palestine), a regional consultative panel on religious and public affairs was launched on Tuesday, the 13th of June. It took place over two days, under the title: ‘Stopping the politicisation of religion and the religiosity of politics’ Twenty-one experts from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq participated in the discussions.
- Lord Jesus, our good shepherd, you told us that you came to the earth ‘so that we could have abundant life,’ (John 10:10). We pray that the recent forum, inspired by the document written by Middle Eastern Christians entitled ‘We Choose Abundant Life’, (2021) will inform new policies to help overcome a culture of violent conflict and death. Lord, in your mercy…
Late on Wednesday evening, the 7th of June, the Israeli army entered Ramallah to demolish the home of a Palestinian accused of planting two bombs in Jerusalem last November. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered to protest over the army’s presence in a Palestinian city over which it has no jurisdiction. A Palestinian news photographer, Moamen Sumreen, who was wearing a clearly marked Press jacket, was observing the demolition from a rooftop when he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Another photographer, Rabih Al-Munir was also injured, shot in the abdomen.
- Lord, we pray for Moamen and Rabih and for the others injured in Ramallah on Wednesday evening that they may recover fully from their gunshot wounds. We pray that the Israeli army would hold their soldiers accountable for shooting at journalists carrying out their work and other bystanders. Lord in your mercy…
Two well-known Palestinian activists were summoned for interrogation by the Palestinian Authority security forces last week. Azmi Shuaibi and Izam Haj-Hussein run a non-governmental organisation, (AMAN), focused on accountability. Their latest report has shed light on Mahmoud Abbas’ Office at the Palestinian Authority. They have produced evidence which shows that dates produced in illegal West Bank Israeli settlements were being marketed as Palestinian dates to avoid the boycotts imposed on settlement goods.
- Lord, we pray that the Palestinian AMAN activists will continue their work holding those in authority to high standards of integrity and accountability. We pray that they will be released by the Palestinian Authority and that any corrupt practices will be stopped. Lord, in your mercy..
The Israeli Prison Services, (IPS) has summoned Palestinian administrative detainees and put them under pressure to refuse to participate in hunger strikes. The Committee of Administrative Detainees has called for hunger strikes to start on Sunday, the 18th of June. Since the beginning of this year more than 1,300 administrative detention orders have been issued by the IPS.
- Lord, we pray for Palestinians detained in Israeli military prisons on administrative detention orders, without charge or trial. We pray for an end to this inhumane treatment which drives some prisoners to starve themselves to the point of death. Lord, in your mercy…
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Lord, in your mercy..