As numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases increase in Israel (mainly from infections in schools), four new cases were registered by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, the 4th of June, raising the total number of cases in Palestine to 640. Three of the cases were recorded near Jenin, while the fourth was in Gaza. The coronavirus has led to an abrupt decline in economic activity and many Palestinians have lost their livelihoods.
Dear Lord, we pray for all those who have been affected by the pandemic in Palestine/Israel and around the world. We pray especially for those who have lost loved ones, those who are struggling to recover and those who have lost their income as a result of the economic downturn. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
The Kumi Now Initiative invited the Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, founder of the Peacemaker Trust to lead an online talk entitled ‘What is Christian Zionism?’, on Tuesday, the 9th of June. The author of ‘Zion’s Christian Soldiers?’ helped us to understand the challenge posed by Christian Zionists and what can be done to counter their influence. (The Kumi Now Online sessions take place on a weekly basis at 6pm (Jerusalem time), more information can be found here.)
Thank you, Lord, for the work of the Peacemaker Trust. Lord you have raised up your children from all the families of the earth, help us to show love for one another and to work together for peace and justice. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in cities across Palestine/Israel on Tuesday, the 2nd of June, to remember recent victims of police brutality in the US and Israel. On the 25th of May, George Floyd, an African American, was arrested, handcuffed and suffocated by a US policeman in Minneapolis. On the 30th of May, Iyad Hallaq, a Palestinian man with autism, was shot dead by an Israeli policeman. Outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, protestors lit candles in front of a photo of Floyd and Hallaq and chanted, ‘Black lives matter, Palestinian lives matter’.
Lord of heaven and earth you give to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts17:25). We pray, in your strength, to care for victims of brutality and to value every life as precious in your sight. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Some Palestinian communities are facing a wave of violent gun crime. Israeli police neglect and decades of political indifference has allowed this cycle of violence to escalate.
On Monday, the 1st of June, a four-year-old Palestinian girl, Rafif Qara’een died in hospital after she had been shot in the head at her home in the East Jerusalem district of Isawiyah.
Although the family dispute this, Israeli police claim that she was shot from a gun fired from Anata, a Palestinian town beyond the separation wall in the West Bank and some considerable distance from the little girl’s home.
We pray for the family of Rafif as they mourn the loss of their young daughter. We pray that the Israeli police would pursue the perpetrators of such violent crimes within the Palestinian community and restore peace and stability. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society based in Ramallah reported on Wednesday, the 3rd of June, that dozens of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Hadareem prison are about to start a collective hunger strike. The strike is their response to poor medical attention during the pandemic. The prisoners have also been denied the right to phone family members, which has increased their sense of isolation as all prison visits were cancelled due to the virus.
Dear Lord, there are more than four thousand Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons, some of them without charges or release dates. We pray especially for those who are desperate to draw attention to their maltreatment. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Israeli military training took place in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday, the 2nd of June. They used live ammunition which set fire to two thousand acres of Palestinian agricultural and pastoral land. Palestinian farmers lost wheat and barley crops and grazing for their livestock, endangering their livelihood. Israel has already allocated 86% of the land in the West Bank portion of the Jordan Valley to Israeli settlements and proposes to annex the rest on the 1st of July.
Lord, we cry out to you as we see the land of Palestinian farmers destroyed and stolen in front of their eyes. We pray that international lawmakers and governments will speak out against the illegal Israeli annexation, before it is too late. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Proper 6 – Sunday 14th June
O God the Father, origin of divinity,
good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in whom is calmness,
peace and concord;
make up the dissensions which divide us from each other and bring us back into a unity of love, which may bear some likeness to your sublime nature. And as you are above all things, make us one by the unanimity of a good mind, that through the embrace of charity and the bonds of affection we may be spiritually one, as well in ourselves as in each other, through that peace of yours which makes all things peaceful, through the grace, mercy and tenderness of your only-begotten Son.
The Jacobite Liturgy of Dionysius, in Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional