[ACNS] The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in America, Michael Curry, has called on his members to hold a season of prayer for regions of the Anglican Communion which are experiencing violence and civil strife.
“In this season of Resurrection, I call on everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters in areas where there is much burden and little hope,” Bishop Curry said.
Citing Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ –Bishop Curry called for prayer throughout the holy season of Easter. Beginning on 3 April 3 and continuing through to Pentecost on 15 May 15.
TEC members are being asked to pray for a particular province or region each week, beginning with Burundi, and then Central America, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Middle East, Pakistan, and South Sudan.
“Members of The Episcopal Church are asked to lift up in prayer parts of our world experiencing extreme violence and unrest,” TEC said on its website. “This is an opportunity to learn more about what the churches in these regions are doing to be sources of support and hope.”
To help people to pray, TEC is producing online resources for each of the regions being prayed for, beginning with Burundi.
“Located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, the Anglican Church of Burundi consists of seven dioceses and has approximately 900,000 members,” TEC says. “The Province was founded in 1992, just two years before a brutal 12-year civil war swept across the country. In the years since the civil war ended in 2005, the Church in Burundi has focused on issues addressing both the basic daily needs of the population (including food security, Malaria, HIV/Aids, and Gender Based Violence) and the broader need for peace and reconciliation in the country. Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi was appointed the Vice-Chair of Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in December 2014.
“A new wave of politically-motivated violence and conflict broke out in April 2015 and continues to this day. The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Burundi in March 2016 and has issued a Communion-wide call to prayer for the country and its political, religious, and civic leaders. He shares, ‘…the membership of the Church includes those on all sides of the political spectrum and of all ethnic groups, the Anglican Church of Burundi has the opportunity to play a key role in bringing peace and reconciliation locally and nationally and to share Christ’s love in turbulent times.’”
In addition to prayer, TEC is urging its members to advocate for the regions. “It is vital to tell your elected officials to stand for peace in Burundi,” it says. “If you live in the United States, this includes urging the President, Secretary of State, and the United States Congress to support peace building in Burundi. If you do not live in the United States, your voice is just as important: all world governments must stand with peacemakers in Burundi.”
As well as background information, the online resources produced by TEC also includes links to useful sources of additional information.