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Darfur – Faith leaders pray at Downing Street

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written the following prayer for Darfur:

We pray for the people of Darfur who have been terrorised and forced from their homes; for those who have fled to refugee camps, and who still live in fear;

We pray for those who have died, and for their families;

We pray for the women in Darfur who face danger every day as they leave their camps for firewood – may you watch over your daughters;

We pray for the children of Darfur, especially those who face a frightening world without one or both of their parents – may they be protected and comforted;

We pray for the safety of the humanitarian aid workers as they feed and care for the people of Darfur;

We pray for the safety of the African Union’s Mission in Darfur as they work in difficult circumstances;

We pray for the safety of the United Nations’ Peacekeepers when they begin their duties in Darfur;

We pray that the world’s leaders will be guided by you in their quest for justice and safety for Darfur’s people – may they be inspired by your humanity;

Remind us that we are all your children, and teach us to listen;

We pray that those who are causing death and misery in Darfur will turn away from racism and violence – may they be forgiven when they turn to you for guidance instead;

Teach us to rejoice in all the things we have in common and respect each others’ differences;

We pray that people everywhere will strive to live in peace, tolerance, and respect, no matter what their faith or race – may we gain the wisdom, grace, and generosity of spirit to overcome our differences and live as one.

The prayer will be recited at a multi-faith gathering outside the gates of Downing Street from 12 noon on Sunday. [Info here]

Archbishop Tuto wrote the prayer at the request of campaigning group Waging Peace, who are organising the event.

“Prayers from other influential faith leaders from the Muslim and Jewish communities will also be read. We aim to remind our prime minister of his personal commitment not to allow another Rwanda to occur,” says their press release.

The group has made the following suggested course of action, which I add here for discussion, following the proposals suggested by Peter Tatchell (which I posted yesterday).

  • Britain push the UN to enforce its resolutions on Darfur and put genuine pressure on the government of Sudan;
  • The African Union force is significantly strengthened;
  • A well-equipped UN peacekeeping force with a mandate to protect civilians and disarm those who terrorise, rape, and kill them is provided