We have two prayer requests that we ask you to distribute to members of your national communities regarding the situation in Kenya and that in Hanoi, Vietnam.
We pray in solidarity with our brothers and sisters for freedom from violence and freedom of religion.
From Levi Matseshe of CLC Kenya, Consultor on World CLC ExCo:
What is happening in our country is terrible. FOUR things need our prayers and efforts;
– 1. That the violence may come to an end, throughout the country
– 2. That we may soon find a solution to the disputed presidential election results
– 3. That we may work to correct the unequal distribution of resources in our country (to me, this is one singular cause of our current troubles.)
– 4. That we may resolve the land question in our country, another major problem.
We are in trouble now because for so many years we have swept under the carpet major national concerns ( 2&3 above). …I am more hopeful. I do not see us ending in a civil war. If anything positive is in this, it is that as a country we are forced to address issues that we should have faced years ago. We may have been living a lie in the name of peace. A quick and easy solution will hurt us in the future. There are signs that major players (causes) are forced to address the reality because this violence is affecting everybody, although the most vulnerable are unfortunately the most affected by all these. At least we, me included, have been forced to reflect on our own entrenched ethnic attitudes and biases, something not many Kenyans would have admitted that they held. Such attitudes and biases have either advertently or inadvertently fueled these violence. Each one of us who discern is quietly asking themselves how they may have contributed. Here is clearly where CLC comes in. We are responding albeit in a small measure.
We thank God for the attention of the International community, the international mediators, and for you who pray for us. I see light and the end of the tunnel.
From Fr. Terry Charlton, S.J., National Chaplain, CLC Kenya:
The violence has gone on for too long, and clearly much of what is now going on is ethnic cleansing and not protest about the elections. We are praying that Kofi Anan’s team will be able to bring both sides to the table and facilitate a way forward that is just and will help bring about peace, reconciliation and healing. Certainly, it was a good sign that ODM has decided to call off mass protests scheduled for yesterday, and indications of initial progress at a result of the work of Anan’s team are positive.
About 60% of our students at St. Aloysius Gonzaga are in class. (St. Al’s was co-founded by CLC Kenya, Fr. Charlton, and Hands of Love Society.) The rest are either upcountry and have not been able to travel or are displaced persons in camps. This is quite distressing, and we hope that they will be able to return to school very soon. Keep us in prayers.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
From Dong Hanh CLC in CLC-USA
Fathers, Deacons, Sisters and Brothers in Christ; Please spread the news and pray with and for our beloved Viet Nam Church.
“Catholic parishioners and priests have been holding daily vigils for the past month at the site, a block away from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Hanoi. They are praying, singing and holding candles while demanding the handing over of the land, which was taken by the government nearly four decades ago.Thousands of followers blocked the street Friday in the largest gathering, as many from outside Hanoi came for the celebrations for the 90th birthday of Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung. It was a rare scene in Vietnam, which typically does not tolerate any form of dissent.”
For more information on this situation, here:
In Christ’s Peace,
UN Working Group, Secretary
Christian Life Community NGO