#reHumanize Project: A Prayer for the Kurds

Syrian Kurds protest against Turkey in Ras al-Ain, Hassakeh province, on 6 October 2019
Image: AFP | Syria’s Kurds reject Turkey’s plans and say they will defend their territory at all costs

This blog post is the first of a recurring series called the #reHumanize Project, an initiative by Nazarenes United for Peace that seeks to help us rediscover our shared, divine humanity.

We thought it might be fitting to open the #reHumanize Project with this prayer for Syria and the Kurds. It is written by Jeff Sykes, theologian and servant of the church.

“Almighty God, we confess that every good and perfect gift is from you. Your servant James instructed us to be quick to listen and slow to anger. We know, oh Lord, from experience that our anger does not lead to your righteousness. Even so, our corporate brokenness seems to leave us weak and unable to address the problems of our world. Today, Lord, we read about your children in Syria–Kurds, Syrians, and others–who are long oppressed by violence and hate. We read about friends abandoned for political gain. We see the future where death and pain are multiplied: a future where expediency produces despair.

You have called us, o most merciful God, to extend mercy. You call us to the occupation of peacemaking. You call us, through the faithfulness of your Son Jesus Christ, to imagine and work toward a hopeful future. You empower us by your Holy Spirit to imagine a world where your will is done here on earth as it is in heaven.

Forgive us for sitting by too long and doing nothing. Instead, empower us to hear and respond to your gracious call to recognize that, in you, the dividing lines of this present age are erased by your love. Give courage to leaders to work for justice. Help us to hold them up and encourage them when their spirits fail.

Amen. “


Nazarenes Call for Gun Reform

Sign the petition here

Nazarenes United for Peace believe that American Christians are called by our Creator to propose and support creative, peaceful solutions to the unprecedented epidemic of firearms-related violence in the United States.

These solutions include:

We believe that such provisions reflect the calling and character of the American Church.

The Church of the Nazarene believes that the ideal world condition is that of peace and that it is the full obligation of the Christian Church to use its influence to seek such means as will enable the nations of the earth to be at peace and to devote all of its agencies for the propagation of the message of peace.

Nazarene Manual, 922

First, we believe that such provisions reflect a consistent, holistic, pro-life ethic, one that recognizes and upholds the sanctity of all human lives. We reject false dichotomies that require us to choose between care for the unborn, children, young adults, and/or the elderly among us. Instead we heed Christ’s reminder that when we care for the marginalized and physically endangered we care for God’s own self.

Second, we affirm that such regulations represent the best, most evidence-based and effective means of ensuring the peace and safety of American citizens. We spurn fear-based calls to counter violence with violence or attempt to overcome evil with evil. Instead we heed the call of Christ—himself the object of state-sanctioned violence—to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and put away our own weapons as we work toward peace and reconciliation.

Most importantly, we believe that such legislative measures reflect the call of persons of faith to actively participate in shalom, the peaceful well-being of all of Creation. We reject the idolatries of rugged individualism, sectarian partition, and ethno-linguistic segregation that compel us toward violent resistance. Instead we honor our Creator’s mandate to live at peace with all of creation—both friend and foe—so that through us all peoples on earth might be blessed.

We reject the idolatries of rugged individualism, sectarian partition, and ethno-linguistic segregation that compel us toward violent resistance

Image result for peter heals the ear

Jesus healing the ear of a servant (cut off by Peter) during his arrest, Museu de Évora, Portugal, c. 1500.