By Katie Beckmann, Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Prayer.
Throughout history, many horrific events have occurred in April.
The Armenian Genocide occurred in April 1915 and less than 20 years later; the Nazis issued a decree that led to the Holocaust. In April 1975, over 2 million people in Cambodia were killed by the Khmer Rouge, and in 1992 the siege of Sarajevo began in Bosnia. Two years later, a plane crash that resulted in the death of the president of Rwanda sparked a genocide that killed over 800,000 people in 100 days. Most recently in 2003, the Darfur genocide began and has resulted in the death of over 2.5 million people. (1)
These genocides and events led April to be recognized as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in Minnesota, California, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Texas. (2)
Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month is designated to “encourage people to celebrate the experiences of a diverse community, honor survivors of global atrocities, and strive to build more peaceful communities locally and globally through awareness and advocacy.” (2)
Throughout April, remember those we have lost, those who have survived, and Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month with prayer.
For those who have no voice,
who are frightened, we ask you to speak.
For those who live in pain and hunger,
plagued with sufferings of body and mind,
we ask they be bathed in the light of your healing,
freeing them from their illnesses and painful memories of violence and loss.
For those who are lonely, separated from their families
because of genocidal campaigns and continued persecution,
we ask you to keep them company.
For those who are bound by slavery and forced into camps,
we ask your love to set them free.
For those forced to fight, to kill,
and torture even members of their own family,
we ask for you to give them the means to find strength and the means to leave.
For those who lead, we ask your wisdom
to inspire them to put down their weapons.
Our greatest wish is for a world filled with peace,
where each one of your children can shine brightly
and illuminate the world with love and compassion.
May enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship. May perpetrator and victim heal side by side.
May many nations seek the way of peace together. (3)