Coronavirus testing data from Israel suggests there has been a slowdown in the country’s outbreak, three weeks after a second nationwide lockdown was imposed. In recent weeks the country has experienced infection and mortality rates that have been among the highest in the world, relative to population size.
Lord, we pray that the lockdown in Israel will help to diminish the sudden peak in the numbers of people infected with COVID-19 in Israel. We also pray for those who continue to be affected by the rise in cases in the West Bank and Gaza. We pray for wisdom for all those in authority around the world to know how best to limit the numbers of those being infected and suffering with coronavirus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayersRead more
In the midst of the continuing escalation of conflict and violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ offers this prayer for peace. We join the voices of ecumenical organizations and partners seeking an immediate end to the crisis.Read more
Israel has extended its nationwide lockdown after more than 9,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on one day at the end of September. In Palestine there have been 426 new cases confirmed recently.
Dear Lord, we pray for the grave situation in Israel/Palestine with the high rise in the numbers of coronavirus cases and the pressure this will put on the health facilities. We pray for wisdom for those in authority in the decisions they make to try and curb this sudden rise in infections. We pray they will help to protect the population from even higher infection levels. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) laments the increased hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the loss of life in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. As the fighting escalates, NCC opposes this unprovoked surprise attack by Azerbaijan that has brought Armenia into a state of war.
The NCC stands in solidarity with the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, the World Council of Churches, and people of goodwill everywhere in expressing our outrage and deep sadness at this conflict.Read more
A BBC enquiry has discovered that, Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club, controls companies which have donated $100 million to Elad, an Israeli settler organization. Elad has been confiscating Palestinian property and buying up homes in East Jerusalem to re-house 450 Jewish settlers in a predominately Palestinian neighborhood. Any settler group activity in occupied East Jerusalem is a breach of international law. While in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli authorities are planning to confiscate 3,800 dunams,(almost 1000 acres), of Palestinian land in seventeen different locations around the city.
Omniscient God, you see everything that happens on the earth and you listen out for the cries of the poor and the oppressed. You see when the rich and powerful oppress the poor, as your prophet Micah said: ‘ They covet fields and seize them and houses and take them away, they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance’ ( Micah 2:2). We pray for an end to the seizure of Palestinian homes and land by the Israeli authorities and settlers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Ex 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Prayers for Egypt:
For a millennium, the people of Egypt have witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking – but they have thrived, embodying the ideal that that hardship from God is meant to sharpen and refine us. Although struck by the harsh currents of time, again and again, Egypt’s Coptic Christian population still stands. We pray that you illuminate them, oh Lord.
God, hold in your loving palm the works of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the United Church of Christ’s partner through Global Ministries, based in Cairo. We pray that you strengthen your children as they engage in inter-religious dialogue and local community development, as they work to build a world that embodies that most important value: to love your neighbor as you should love yourself. God, we pray that our Coptic Christian partners are able to see the fruits of their righteous labor – Christians and Muslims working together to strengthen their nation and act as a counterbalance to the dangerous tilt experienced by our world today.
As the people of Egypt continue to batten down against the health and economic effects of COVID-19, let us pray for their continued strength and dedication to your Commandments and your grand love. Nourish them, oh God. Divinely guide those responsible for negotiating the state of the Nile River, oh God, and ensure that our Egyptian kin have the sustenance they need to survive. Holy one, please protect them from those who would do them grave harm.
Inspire our church to embody the Coptic model of resilience, to remain stalwart in the face of calamities and idols both natural and man-made. Let us be led by the example of our Egyptian partners, and help them lead us to you, oh God. Give us the strength to hold our neighbor in this storm.Read more
A dozen global and regional religious organizations released an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe that defines their calling as Christians to “welcome the stranger,” and urges the creation of a world in which “we become human together.”
"Solidarity should be the guiding principle governing migration and particularly refugee reception," the statement says. "We expect the EU to reject the discourse and politics of fear and deterrence, and to adopt a principled stance and compassionate practice based on the fundamental values on which the EU is founded."Read more
The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches held an exceptional meeting, as the Council's Twelfth General Assembly was scheduled to take place at this time. However, the exceptional circumstances imposed by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inability of direct meeting between members from different countries and churches, and replacing it with virtual electronic means for the member churches in Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Cyprus, produced a legal agreement on this exceptional meeting, which was hosted in Lebanon by His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi - Patriarch of Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch at the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerke with the participation of His Beatitude Youhanna X - Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and president of the Council for the Greek Orthodox Family, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II - Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church who is the president of the Council for the Eastern Orthodox Family, and Right Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, President of the National Evangelical Union Lebanon and president of the Council for the Evangelical Family. His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael Sako – Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans and president of the Council for the Catholic family, participated electronically from Iraq. And in a generous initiative, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II - Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church hosted members of the Committee from the various churches in Egypt at the Papal Headquarters in the Coptic Orthodox Church of in Cairo.Read more
Israel has imposed a second national lockdown to last three weeks after a recent surge of over 4000 confirmed COVID-19 cases every day. The lockdown will close all schools and only supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. Schools have only just reopened for the start of the new academic year and this lockdown will bring major disruption.
Lord, we pray for all those in positions of authority in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory as they take decisions on how to manage the resurgence of the coronavirus throughout the land. We pray for the families trying to manage their work and their children’s education from home. We pray too for the protection of the care workers looking after those who are seriously affected by the virus. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the globe and as the struggle against historic and systemic injustice and oppression is revived, the circumstances of Palestinians living under occupation continue to worsen. The threat of Israeli annexation of large parts of the West Bank is an example of the decades of policies that have denied Palestinians their basic human and civil rights.
This was a webinar conversation with two Palestinian Christian leaders, Rifat Kassis and the Rev. Munther Isaac, as they discussed the current reality, the situation of Palestinian Christians, and the recently-issued “Cry for Hope,” a letter to the world calling for attention and action to challenge injustice and to seek change to which UCC and Disciples leaders have responded.
This webinar took place during the World Council of Churches’ World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel on September 16, 2020Read more