« back to Wesley Church News

the young of the world - Pray for rescue of children from so many horrors

  Filed under: News 

by Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society on July 11, 2014

This “ordinary season” of the church calendar — the summer of 2014 — is full of fear and terror for many children around the world.

  1. More than 3 million children under age 5 die each year from causes stemming from poor nutrition — that’s 8,500 each day.
  2. An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked for sex and labor each year.
  3. More than 2 million children have been killed in conflicts and war during the past decade.
  4. Nearly 300 girls in Nigeria are being held captive by terrorists.
  5. Unaccompanied children from some places in Central America try to cross borders into a strange, unknown land.
  6. Three boys are kidnapped and murdered in Israel; children of Palestine are burned and caught in the cross fires of conflict.
  7. 2,000 children in the United States have been victims of gun violence in cities and countryside in the past 18 months alone.

The United Methodist Social Principles declare that children are beings to whom adults and society in general have special obligations. “Children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing health care, and emotional well-being,” our Social Principles state (2012 Book of Discipline ¶162C), “and these rights we affirm as theirs regardless of actions or in actions of their parents or guardians. “In particular, children must be protected from economic physical, emotional and sexual exploitation and abuse.”

O God,
Grant that we may not seek the child Jesus
In the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs;
But rather look for him
Among the undernourished children
Who have gone to bed tonight with nothing to eat;
Among the poor newsboys who will sleep
covered with newspaper in doorways.

(A prayer based on the words of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador)

Bishop Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference urges us to follow Bishop Minerva Calcaño of the Los Angeles Area when she asks us to call 1-888-427-0530 and ask for both your Senators and your Representative, call each of them and say,

“As a United Methodist, I ask you to please protect
unaccompanied children and don’t repeal the TVPRA!”