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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: violence

November 13, 2015

A prayer for Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad

God of mercy, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance,
in the midst of unfolding violence and the aftermath of terror and loss, 
we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion.
In these days of fearful danger and division, we need to believe somehow that your kindom of peace in which all nations and tribes and languages dwell together in peace is still a possibility.
Give us hope and courage that we may not yield our humanity to fear.., even in these endless days of dwelling in the valley of the shadow of death.

We pray for neighbors ...

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May 22, 2015

Prayer service for people affected by violence or natural disaster

During an interfaith prayer service at the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations, participants prayed and lit candles for our sisters and brothers affected by violence and natural disasters. 

For whom do you pray?

Candles lit with bible behind them

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June 27, 2013

National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation in South Sudan

Please join the people of South Sudan in prayer for reconciliation in their country.

A National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation in South Sudan will take place on Monday, July 8, 2013, the eve of the anniversary of the country's independence.

The theme will be Lamentation, leading to repentance and personal conversion/transformation. From July 1-7, there will be prayers with different groups (e.g. government, organised forces, women, youth, etc).

On Friday, July 5 the Muslims will take up the prayer in their mosques, and on Sunday, July 7 the Christians will take it up in their churches ...

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June 16, 2013

A prayer for World Refugee Day

June 20 is World Refugee Day. Learn how Presbyterian Disaster Assistance works with refugees.


Here's a prayer:

God of the journey,
We remember that Mary and Joseph
Had to flee to Egypt,
Taking Jesus to safety,
Leaving home behind.
We pray for sisters and brothers
Around your world
Who are forced to leave their homes.
We pray for brothers and sisters who are
Driven from home by natural disasters.
We pray for sisters and brothers who are
Driven from home by unnatural acts of violence and persecution.
We pray for brothers who are
Driven from home because of ...

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May 1, 2013

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Asks for Prayers to End Violence in South Sudan

from our partners in World Mission

The crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei State has escalated alarmingly in recent weeks.  The deteriorating situation has prompted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to express deepening concern for the people of the region and to renew its urgent call to prayer and action to promote justice, peace and genuine security for the affected populations.

Since the beginning of 2013 the government of South Sudan’s campaign to disarm rebel forces led by David Yau Yau has triggered a growing number of clashes between the South Sudanese military (SPLA) and Yau Yau’s ...

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March 8, 2013

Advocacy for women at the UN

On FridDelegation with Ambassador Shinay afternoon, an advocacy delegation from Ecumenical Women visited the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.

The delegation met with Ambassador Shin Dong-Ik, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. From the ambassador, they learned about Korea's work on the Security Council. They shared Ecumenical Women's talking points for the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women:

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September 26, 2012

A family's story from Syria

This story was provided by our partners in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon during their visit to New York and our ministry.

Mr. J. is in his sixties, has a wife and three children—one son and two daughters.  Mr. J. lost his work and his older daughter did as well. His wife and his younger daughter don’t work. He tells his story:

From the beginning of 2011 we are suffering this crisis and the violence. We were always waiting for this violence comes to its end, but things became worse.  Our house got bombed in ...

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August 30, 2012

A prayer for Nigeria

“No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.”
- Isaiah 60:18

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August 5, 2012

Statement of the Secretary General, the Rev. Bud Heckman Religions for Peace USA Concerning Murders at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Statement of the Secretary General, the Rev. Bud Heckman
Religions for Peace USA
Concerning the Heinous Murders at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
August 5, 2012

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July 15, 2012

Call to prayer for Nigeria

From our colleagues in the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF):

The World Student Christian Federation invites our members and friends to join us in prayer for Nigeria, in the wake of the violence being carried out by the Boko Haram sect in Northern and Central Nigeria. We pray for the families and communities of those killed recently, including those killed in the attacks on churches in the cities of Jos and Biu last month.

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March 13, 2012

South Sudan: UN mission responds to new outbreak of violence in Jonglei state

Hold the people of South Sudan - particularly the people living in Jonglei state - in prayer. They again face violence.

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March 13, 2012

UN Security Council Gravely Concerned at Cross-Border Violence between Sudan, South Sudan

From a March 6, 2012 press release by the UN Security Council:

Gravely concerned by reports of violent cross-border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded that all parties, including proxy forces, cease all military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence.

Through a wide-ranging statement read out by its President, Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom), the Council, concerned about reported “troop movements, support to proxy forces, and aerial bombardments”, strongly urged the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on the status of disputed border areas ...

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March 13, 2012

Praying and acting for wisdom and creative alternatives to war with Iran

What should be done about Iran and their nuclear capability? While some advocate bombing Iran, Presbyterians and other followers of Jesus call for restraint.

On Feb. 21, General Assembly Stated Clerk, the Rev. Gradye Parsons, wrote to President Obama expressing concern. His letter notes that:

“The Christian tradition we share urges us to seek limits to violence and, therefore, requires us to oppose any rush to initiate another war in the Middle East.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness, joined colleagues from seven other churches and faith-based ...

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January 9, 2012

Humanitarian emergency in Jonglei

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations in partnership with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission partners have been following the violence in South Sudan.  We encourage prayer for a peace resolution to this situation.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande issued the following statement:

(Juba, 7 January 2012): Humanitarian agencies are mounting a major emergency operation in Jonglei State in South Sudan to help people affected by the recent wave of inter-communal violence. “The Government of South Sudan has declared Jonglei a disaster zone and asked humanitarian agencies to accelerate life-saving assistance. We’re ...

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January 1, 2012

Violence continues in South Sudan

Our brothers and sisters in South Sudan continue to stand in need of prayer.

Here are some updates on the violence in Jonglei State:

Report: Fighters attack South Sudan town despite presence of U.N. peacekeepers (CNN)

South Sudan 'sends more troops' to strife-torn town Pibor (BBC)

South Sudan Lou Nuer fighters attack town of Pibor (BBC)

UN sends troops to South Sudan town (Al-Jazeera video - a day or two old at this point)

The Presbyterian Church of Sudan has issued a statement calling all to pursue peace.

May God guide those who work for peace.

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December 27, 2011

Urgent prayer request for Jonglei State, South Sudan

Here's a December 30 update from the BBC:

The United Nations has moved a battalion of combat troops to the South Sudanese town of Pibor to prevent an attack by the Lou Nuer ethnic group.

Our sisters and brothers in Jonglei State in South Sudan stand in urgent need of prayer.

The United Nations News Centre offers this report:

The United Nations today urged South Sudan to take all necessary measures to protect civilians in Jonglei State after reports identified thousands of armed youth preparing to attack a rival community.

“I am deeply concerned to learn of reports of ...

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November 11, 2011

Women, War & Peace film series

Written by Grace Bickers

As a human rights student at Columbia University, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to volunteer with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations this fall. My particular interests concern international education and development after times of conflict, and I was excited to attend a film screening and panel discussion last week at the United States Mission concerning the role of women in war.

Women, War & Peace is series of five documentaries produced and broadcast by PBS that shares the stories of women living in conflict zones all over the world. The main purpose of ...

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August 29, 2011

PC(USA) stated clerk issues statement on August 26 bombing of UN building in Nigeria

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued the following statement on the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria on August 26, 2011.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, who represents the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the United Nations, will communicate Reverend Parson’s statement to the United Nations community.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is deeply saddened to hear of the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria on August 26, 2011. We pray for healing and strength for those who were injured and ...

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August 8, 2011

Situation in Syria

Presbyterians, with people around the world, hold the country and people of Syria in prayer during these challenging days. Presbyterians have been involved in Syria from the early 1800s, when early American Presbyterian missionaries came to the Near East. American Presbyterians took the lead in Syria, as they had in Lebanon, in education, health care and church development. However, most mission work has been united in Syria (and Lebanon) under one mission society, which includes Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland and Lutherans from Denmark. In 1956 the Mission Society of Syria and Lebanon encouraged and helped develop national leadership in ...

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July 23, 2011

Pray with the people of Norway and all victims of vioence and terror

People around the world will join in prayer with and for the people of Norway following yesterday's terrible attacks. The World Council of Churches provides a prayer for the people of Norway and all victims of violence and terror.



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June 5, 2011

A prayer for the people of Sudan who know conflict

Gracious God, we pray for the people of Sudan. We pray particularly for the people in Abyei, South Kordofan, the Blue Nile, and other places where tensions run high. We pray that the military of the Government of Sudan and of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army refrain from conflict. We pray that all the people of Sudan turn from violence and work for a just and lasting peace. Guide the people. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

The BBC reports that the UN is investigating clashes that have broken out in South Kordofan.

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June 3, 2011

Accompaniment in Colombia and Jamaica

Banner of accompaniment program

Accompaniment is the great theme of the Bible. It is the window through which we should see the whole of the Gospel and the entire meaning of our faith. Accompaniment is what it is all about.

With those words, Tom Driver began a sermon for Maundy Thursday, 2010. Tom was in Colombia for a time of reflection and evaluation of the Colombia Accompaniment Program. The program had begun in 2004 when

The Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC) sent a message to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We are being threatened, they said. If you sent some people here to ...

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May 31, 2011

UN seeks to aid civilians displaced from Abyei

As the days tick down until July 9, 2011 when South Sudan is scheduled to become independent, a variety of concerns appear. One focuses on Abyei - a region and a town on the border.

The United Nations News Centre notes that:

The disputed town of Abyei, which is contested by both north and south Sudan, was the scene of renewed violence last week, including looting and burning, following the takeover of the area by Sudanese Government forces.

Deadly clashes have claimed dozens of lives since the start of the year, when a referendum on Abyei’s status that was supposed ...

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May 14, 2011

Victims of violence await justice in Colombia

Global Policy Forum has posted an article about justice for people impacted by violence in Colombia. The Colombian armed conflict waged since the 1960s between the government, guerrillas and paramilitaries has claimed tens of thousands of civilian lives and displaced...

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May 8, 2011

Pray for an end to violence in Pibor and Akobo counties, southern Sudan

Pray for the people of Pibor and Akobo counties in southern Sudan. Violence has been reported between the Nuer and Murle peoples. An atmosphere of fear and deep uncertainty pervades the people. Pray for peace to prevail, for a turn...

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May 8, 2011

Curbing Congo's conflict minerals

Tell Secretary Clinton: we need a credible certification system for Congo's conflict minerals. Take Action | RAISE Hope for Congo. RAISE Hope for Congo provides a way to help address the issue of conflict minerals that fuel violence in the...

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May 1, 2011

Pray for Sudan

Reports have been received about an increase in violence in central Jonglei state in Southern Sudan. Please hold the people of the region in prayer. Please pray for all the people of Sudan as the process for creating the new...

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December 24, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 24, 2010

Scripture - Luke 2:1–20 “And on earth peace, goodwill among people.” Luke 2:14 (NIV) As a child this phrase from Luke’s version of the Christmas story was one of my favorites. Each time I heard this ancient text read on...

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December 22, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 22, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 17 “Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.” (Psalm 17:1) When David said those words in the tenth century B.C., he was a man...

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December 3, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 3, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 102 “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that people yet unborn may praise the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18) Many of us know some variation of the proverb “The true meaning of life is to...

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November 27, 2010

WCC Living Letters Team to visit Philippines

An international team of church representatives will pay a solidarity visit to churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society movements in the Philippines from 1 to 5 December. It will be the last in a series of "Living Letters" visits to...

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November 24, 2010

Pray for peace on the Korean peninsula

God grant peace to the people of the Korean peninsula. Turn hearts from violence. Preserve calm. Provide strength to refrain from violence. Guide the leaders in paths of peace. Amen. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is among the world leaders calling...

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September 28, 2010

Mexico 'country of contrast,' says peacemaker

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Mexico 'country of contrast,' says peacemaker. International Peacemaker "Brenda Celia Trinidad Espitia is a graduate of the Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas, and is an active member of Emanuel Presbyterian...

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August 9, 2010

A prayer on the killing of aid workers in Afghanistan

God of mercy, we come to you in shock, for those who extended aid, those who offered healing, those who provided care, have been met with violence and death. We grieve for those who were killed in Afghanistan. Our minds...

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July 17, 2010

July 18, 2010, pray with the people of Sudan

The churches in Sudan will pray for their country and its future on July 18, 2010 for the upcoming January 2011 referendum. Will you join them? Will you invite others to pray? Here is a prayer to use or adapt:...

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May 24, 2010

PC(USA) partners in Colombia and the presidential election

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia: Our partners in Colombia, the the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, are faithful and passionate the defense of life - which in this context means the upholding of human rights. With Colombia's history of...

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May 17, 2010

Pray for and with the people of Iraq

In response to the request of the Christian leaders of Iraq, here are a couple prayers. They may be used each day at noon as part of the Covenant of Prayer with Iraqi Christians or in private devotions or corporate...

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May 14, 2010

Election violence in Lanao del Sur

Violence was reported during the election in the Philippines. Perhaps not as much as in previous elections. Perhaps not as much as had been feared. But violence was reported. One reported incident was a two-hour gunfight erupted as polling places...

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May 2, 2010

Thank you from Colombia

Our partners in the churches, communities of displaced persons, educational institutions and other social organizations concerned with justice and human rights, have sent a word of thanks. To the Churches, Ecumenical Organizations, and Human Rights Groups in Solidarity with Colombia...

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April 30, 2010

Oración por la tragedia humana que esconde el problema migratorio

Many thanks to our colleague in ministry, the Rev. José Luis Casal, General Missioner of Tres Rios Presbytery for sharing this prayer. Santo Dios, Tu presencia trasciende todas las fronteras creadas por los seres humanos pero tu amor cruza por...

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April 30, 2010

A prayer for the human tragedy behind immigration

Many thanks to our colleague in ministry, the Rev. José Luis Casal, General Missioner of Tres Rios Presbytery for sharing this prayer. Holy God, Your presence transcends all human made borders and your love crosses all boundaries. Help us join...

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March 29, 2010

A prayer for repatterning our lives at Easter

A prayer for repatterning our lives at Easter Sacred Mystery, We confess that we do not much trust this resurrection story. It doesn’t fit with the headlines about Gaza and a hundred other places. It doesn’t work into our win-lose...

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March 20, 2010

Support Obama administration effort for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

Addressing the question of working for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) encouraged Presbyterians to "focus our energy on the United States government, demanding that it assume an intensive and unrelenting...

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March 3, 2010

PC(USA) Stated Clerk issues statement calling for end to violence against Christians in Mosul

Urges leaders worldwide to speak out against violence directed toward all people of faith LOUISVILLE—On behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I write to add our voice to the pleas for an end to the violence...

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December 23, 2009

For justice in Maguindanao

Members of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), representing churches and ecumenical organizations in North America have issued a statement on events in Maguindanao: the massacre of at least 57 civilians by an unidentified militia on November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao...

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October 19, 2009

Events in Guinea

On September 28, a violent crackdown on unarmed demonstrators in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, led to the deaths of at least 150 people. Many rapes were also reported. The trouble in Guinea goes back to last December, when a...

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August 28, 2009

Christians in Iraq

The Obama Administration recently responded to the July 22 letter from Churches for Middle East Peace [PDF] to Secretary Clinton that expressed concern about the resurgence of violence in Iraq, particularly violence toward the vulnerable and ancient Christian community. The...

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August 8, 2009

Moved By Faith: A Call for Peace in Sudan

Here is a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of peace in Sudan. Please send this letter to the President. For email, copy the letter below; go to the web form provided by the Presbyterian Church’s Washington Office; check...

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August 8, 2009

Violence between Muslims and Christians in Pakistan

The Office on Interfaith Relations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reports: Mob attacks on Christian homes in Korian and Gajra, Pakistan, resulted in many injuries and a number of deaths. The National Council of Churches in Pakistan confirmed nine deaths...

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July 25, 2009

To see and to be seen

Can you give a month to stand with our sisters and brothers in Colombia? Consider taking part in the next Colombia Accompaniment training - September 17 to 21, 2009 at Stony Point Center. The Colombia Accompaniment Program, now in its...

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June 27, 2009

Conflict minerals - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo In January 2008, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) reported that almost five and a half million people have died as a result of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since...

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June 17, 2009

Speak against violence in Iran

Demonstrations in Iran, following the June 12 elections, apparently are being met with violence. Amnesty International reports that as many as five students at Tehran University were shot dead over the weekend and another person was wounded when security agents...

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February 26, 2009

Stop the war against women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo

For ten years, the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) has been the world's deadliest killing ground as warfare and violence have ravaged the country. Amidst the tragedy, rape is systematically used as a weapon of war. And children are forced to...

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January 15, 2009

A View on Gaza from Bethlehem

The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, recently posted a reflection on events in Gaza. Here are some excerpts. Mitri writes: "The most important thing, I believe, is not what we are told and shown,...

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January 8, 2009

All Violence Must Stop

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons has issued a statement on the Gaza-Israel Crisis. The statement begins: "Whether Jew, Muslim, or Christian, we share commandments of love for God and neighbor. Therefore, all violence in Gaza, Israel, and the...

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January 8, 2009

Urge Immediate U.S. Efforts to End Gaza Violence, Restore Cease-Fire

The Presbyterian Washington Office provides an opportunity to advocate with our elected officials urging them to call all the parties to the violence in Gaza to restrain from using force and, rather, to trust a diplomatic process.

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December 31, 2008

Presbyterian leaders speak to the situation in Gaza and Israel

The leaders of the Presbyterian Church have issued a brief statement on the violence in Gaza and Israel. December 30, 2008 Even as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, we are anguished by stories of violence and...

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December 30, 2008

For the People of Gaza

The United Nations reports that 320 people have died in Gaza since Saturday, December 27. In that same time period, the BBC cites Israeli sources indicating that 110 rockets have been fired into Israel resulting in the deaths of 2...

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September 5, 2008

Presbyterian Letters to India

As noted earlier, Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons sent letters of support to church leaders in India and letters calling for action to end the violence in Orissa to government officials in India.

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September 5, 2008

Pray with Christians in India

The National United Christian Forum in India has called churches to observe September 7 as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace and Goodwill in response to the violence against Christians in the state of Orissa. The Forum invites...

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May 31, 2008

International Peacemaker from Colombia

The Rev. Diego Higuita-Arango Unfortunately, when many Americans think of Colombia (PDF), two things come instantly to mind: coffee and cocaine. But Colombians would like Americans and the rest of the world to know that there is much, much more...

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