The Israeli authorities have announced a week long general closure of the West Bank and Gaza over the Jewish Passover holiday. All checkpoints and border crossings to the West Bank and Gaza will be sealed off and entry to Israel for all Israeli-issued permit holders will be banned, apart from exceptional cases.
Lord, we pray for those who will be affected by this week-long ban. So many Palestinians are living in poverty and depend on the income from their jobs in Israel and this ban will make their struggle even harder. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The ‘Great March of Return’ protest continued along the Gaza/Israel border on Friday with, mostly peaceful, protestors calling for the ability to return to their homes. At least 37 Palestinians were injured by Israeli live fire, including 5 paramedics and 4 journalists.
Lord we pray for all those who were injured, and we remember those who take risks in their work to help the weak and the wounded. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Over 300 Christians have been killed and over 500 injured in the bombing of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka as they celebrated Easter. These bombings were carried out by radical terrorist groups and directly targeted the Christian community.
Dear Lord, in this time of horror and loss comfort those who are grieving, give peace to those who are afraid, and grant healing to those recovering. We pray that You would strengthen the Christian community in Sri Lanka; may those brothers and sisters in Christ come alongside one another in support and not fear to meet. Grant us a commitment that reacts with non-violence, and a patience that works for your coming; And teach us to hate only our tribalism and prejudice which separate us from those different to us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR). The Department was formed by clergy and lay people before and during 1948. At this time 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted from their homes and many became refugees. There are now over five million Palestinian refugees living in 58 refugee camps across the region in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. The DSPR responds to the rights of Palestinians to have access to essential services and to strengthen their communities, with the hope of returning to their homeland.
Lord, we thank you for the work of the DSPR as they attempt to help Palestinian refugees to live dignified lives in oppressive conditions. We pray that the voice of these refugees may be heard, through organizations like the DSPR, in any future peace negotiations with Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israeli police put a stop to a Palestinian soccer tournament in the Beit Safafa neighborhood in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem. The police claimed that the tournament was being run by the Palestinian Authority to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The tournament was for twelve teams of 12-13 year-olds and was organized by the Jerusalemite Forum who have no political affiliation.
Lord, the children hoping to play in this tournament will have been so disappointed to miss it. These youngsters have few opportunities to take part in sporting competitions, living as this community does behind the Israeli separation wall, cut off from the rest of the West Bank. We pray for these young ones that other opportunities will be sought for them to compete and enjoy playing soccer. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Palestinian families in the Silwan district of East Jerusalem. Their appeal stated that the Municipality had discriminated against them by refusing to grant them building permits and had forced them to build illegally. Israeli police and officials began demolishing 60 buildings, home to 500 residents, on Wednesday, the 17th of April.
Lord, we pray for the hundreds of Palestinians who will be made homeless in East Jerusalem this week because they have been refused building permits. It is becoming clear that house by house, Palestinians are being forced out of East Jerusalem. We pray that the discrimination against Palestinians who apply for building permits would be exposed and that this practice would cease. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Jerusalem Municipality has announced that its public kindergartens are no longer allowed to accept foreigners or minorities (commonly used to mean Palestinians) into its facilities for security reasons. The Racism Crisis Center has raised objections to this announcement and the municipality has agreed to amend the wording of the notice.
Lord Jesus we cry to you as we hear of children being banned in the holy city of Jerusalem for their ethnicity. Lord, you sent your followers out to make disciples of all nations. Nobody is to be excluded in your kingdom on racial grounds. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
In Jerusalem this Easter week thousands of Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar around the world will celebrate the Resurrection in many churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
We praise you Lord and thank you for how you made your light shine upon us: ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Psalm 118:26. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.