Friday, November 22, 2019

Ecumenical prayer cycle - Indonesia and Philippines

This week's ecumenical prayer cycle (World Council of Churches) includes a focus on Indonesia and the Philippines (17-23 Nov). We remember our diaconal sisters in the Philippines and in Indonesia, and hold them in prayer.

We are thankful for:
* the vital witness of churches in this region
* the diversity of ethnicities, cultures and religious beliefs, and especially those in Indonesia who have built bridges between them
* those who protest exploitative mining, deforestation and other environmental damage.
(did you know that deforestation is the greatest risk factor for orang-utans, and that suitable habitat for them has declined in Indonesia and Malaysia by 80% in the last 20 years)
* those who have resisted bravely and worked for human rights, justice, peace and reconciliation, especially the National Council of Churches in the Philippines
(note: recently the Duterte Government in the Philippines named the National Council of Churches in the Philippines as a front for local communist terror groups. The government action has been widely condemned by Christian leaders globally including the Uniting Church in Australia, with the heads of the Christian Conference of Asia and the World Council of Churches speaking out against the listing.  In a statement by the Episcopal Church, Bishop Rex Reyes said “The trail blazing efforts of the NCCP for peace and justice in this country is an open book. 1 am proud to say that among the councils of churches worldwide the NCCP is yet reckoned as a vibrant, enduring, leading and recognised ecumenical formation. This is so because the NCCP sees its life and work from the perspective of the vulnerable, oppressed and marginalised.” He went on to highlight corruption in high places and said: “There is nothing wrong when Christians point out that there is so much corruption… What is wrong, if not downright subversive, is when a mindset that kills, persecutes and name calls suppresses those who espouse principled dissent and activism. One should know how principled dissent and activism have made this world more peaceful and just. … What is right is standing up for human rights, justice and peace. I stand with the NCCP.”

We pray for:
* governments in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste, that they will eradicate corruption, establish justice and peace, and work effectively for the wellbeing of all their people
* victims of violence, torture, drug and human trafficking, and human rights violations, that those responsible might be held accountable
* all those affected by earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters, and for the rebuilding of communities afterwards
* ecumenical and interfaith cooperation to bring justice, peace and sustainability to these lands.

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