A Plea for Peace, a Plea for Prayer

“They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.” Psalm 74:8

A group of my friends, including my roommate Sara, flew out of the Beirut airport on July 12, 2006 — the day before Israeli warplanes bombed southern Beirut, demolishing half of the same airport. Weeks later when they arrived back safe in Pasadena they had an interesting reflection on the U.S. News’ reporting of the conflict. Whenever newscasters spoke of Israeli casualties, the B-roll showed pictures of crying children and wounded men, when the Lebanese death-toll was mentioned the pictures in the background were of smoking buildings and streets littered in rubble.

Namrata

This week there are also faces missing in the news. Faces like this one, eight-year-old Namrata, who was attacked by fanatics in the Kandhamal district of Orissa, India, when she was returning to her village from the jungle where she’d taken refuge from the rampaging mob. Her house was burned to the ground, making her and her family refugees — like more than 50,000 others forced to flee for their lives.

This is just the beginning of the litany of atrocities perpetrated in Orissa in the last two weeks that have continued relatively unnoticed by the global community — and unremonstrated. Churches have been razed, orphanages set ablaze, people raped and mutilated.

But worse than the faces missing in the news, worse by far, are those now missing in Orissa: the mothers and fathers who won’t come home, the children who weren’t as “lucky” as Namrata (the word lucky is profane to use in such a context), the nameless victims that make up the more than two-dozen-person disparity between the casualties recorded by the Catholic Church and those recognized by the local government.

Who will raise the cry? Who will sound the alarm? Who will speak against injustice if not the people of God, wedded to him “in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.” (Hosea 2:19)

This Sunday, September 7th, has been declared a Day of Prayer and Fasting by the World Council of Churches, encouraging people “to join in this initiative by praying for the families of those who have lost their dear ones, for those who are displaced, for all others who suffer the consequences of this violence and for all those who are striving to restore trust and goodwill among people and communities.”

Please join me in praying, and please — tell everyone you know.

** For a detailed list of what’s happened (read: prayer points) visit EFI News.
** For more on what you can do, see previous post.

2 thoughts on “A Plea for Peace, a Plea for Prayer

  1. Suzanne passed this on to me… glad to hear this through even a roundabout way. I knew this was coming but didn’t know it had come. Soon all India will be ablaze. May God indeed raise up the prayers of His people that His will may yet be done.

  2. Hey, I’m so glad to hear about what’s going on in the wider world scene from YOU. I have a very limited scope for that right now. Just literary and fleeting things, mostly.

    I have a poetry journal again, by the way: gossamer_spun.livejournal.com
    which I don’t know if you’re interested in, but that’s one of the places I’ve tried to pass on the word about Orissa, though it’s not very trafficked. My Catholic friends are subscribed anyway. I wrote a poem about the situation, mostly as a prayer.

    And back to my immaterial subjects: I commented when someone else posted about Colfer, that I would not be in his shoes for the world. Adams is probably one of the funniest men of his time, and can you imagine?

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