Monday, September 9, 2013

Interfaith Prayers

Continued prayers for Syria, and for a peaceful response from the world community to the crisis (and wisdom for American leaders and leaders in the G20 summit). Continued prayers for Egypt, which hasn’t been as prominent in the news lately because of Syria.

In addition to the concerns about the general Syrian situation, Christians (a minority population in Syria) fear they might become vulnerable to persecution or displacement with the rise of militant Islamist groups there. Coptic Christians have been targets in Egypt amid that country's turmoil.

Refugees from sectarian violence in the Middle East have been going to Australia, but there, both parties have wanted tougher policies on immigration, and meanwhile asylum seekers are waiting in limbo.

Shana tovah u'metukah to Jews who are in the midst of the Yamim Noraim right now, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Prayers for the many communities that will have some kind of 9/11 commemoration this week.  We ask for prayers for persons still suffering twelve years later from that tragedy.  

Sept. 11 is also the 120th anniversary of the beginning of the World's Parliament on Religion, where world faiths were introduced in the United States. The parliament had lasting influence on the study of religion, and upon interfaith and ecumenical dialogue and cooperation. We bless the memory of those who led and participated!

India has been seeing a rise in communal violence. There have been 451 cases this year compared to 410 during all of 2012. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, for instance, a state of high alert has been declared,  and in spite of army petrols in the area of Muzaffarnagar, numerous people have been killed in that area.

In the past year in Myanmar, religious-inspired violence has resulted in over 450 Muslims' deaths and the displacement of a quarter-million Muslims.  Similar, bloody conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims also continue in Thailand.

In Java, members of a Muslim reformist movement called Ahmadiyya In Myanmar in the past year alone, more than 450 Muslims have died and 250,000 have been displaced, losing their homes because of religious-inspired violence. But Myanmar is not alone.

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