'Pilgrim prayers' for women overcoming violence

By agency reporter
May 25, 2018

People across the world will have an opportunity to join in a special prayer for women who are standing strong in the face of gender-based violence. Each Thursday, beginning 31 May 2018, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will release via its website and social media, a prayer shared by members of 'Pilgrim Teams' who have been visiting communities in conflict, and hearing the stories of women who are facing sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence and other injustices.

These 'pilgrim prayers' will reflect the experiences of Pilgrim Team members who, during the past two years, have been witnessing the deep wounds among women in conflict situations.

Pilgrims visited Abuja, Jos and Yola in Nigeria in August 2017, and Burundi in December 2017. In February 2018, pilgrim teams visited Cauca, Uraba, Atlantic Coast, Bogota, Barranquilla, Valledupar and Bolivar in Colombia. A visit also took place in Juba, South Sudan in May this year.

“In all the countries we have visited so far we were not prepared for the stories that our sisters have shared”, said Isabel Apawo Phiri, Deputy General Secretary of the WCC. “Our sisters are carrying unspeakable wounds. The women’s strength comes from their faith in God who is able to transform the conflict to justice and peace.”

The weekly prayers will be shared as part of Thursdays in Black, a global movement resisting attitudes and practices that perpetuate rape and violence.

* More about Thursdays in Black here

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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