Day of Action for Colombia - Excerpts from Public Liturgy

CRLN and Partners at Chicago Federal Building

CRLN members and friends gathered at the Chicago Federal Building on Monday April 20th to participate in the 2009 Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia.  There was a liturgy and dolls representing the 4 million displaced Colombians were presented to aides to Senators Durbin and Burris.  Here are excerpts and photos from the action:


Reader 1:  The dolls among us represent the 4-million internally displaced people in Colombia, a country which now has more displaced people than any other country in the world.  Today we join communities across North America and Colombia in presenting these dolls to our Congress people to remember this grave humanitarian crisis.  The displaced have been driven from their homes and lands by violence, intimidation, war - fueled by U.S. military aid and trade policies. 


Reader 2:  We remember that displacement disproportionately affects Colombia's most vulnerable populations:  While Afro-Colombians represent 26% of Colombia's population, they make up 40% of the displaced population.  75% of the internally displaced are women and children.  Of the 70 indigenous groups in Colombia, 32 are at risk of disappearing - with 18 smaller groups at risk of becoming physically and culturally extinct in the near future. 52,000 indigenous people have been displaced since 2002. 


Reader 1: God of life, we bring to our minds those who have become victims of hatred and violence in Colombia. We bring to mind the grandmothers, infants, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons who have been tortured, murdered and disappeared and the loved ones that are left behind to mourn them.

All: God of life, hear the cries of those seeking justice for victims of violence in Colombia


Reader 2: God of Love, we are here to pray for the peacemakers in Colombia, the churches, and the people who in countless ways seek to right the wrongs, heal the wounded and sick, speak the truth, and protect the vulnerable.

All: God of Love, we give thanks for those who work for justice. Give us strength as we seek to be voices for peace in Colombia, strengthen our efforts to bring forth the words of truth, compassion and peace that we receive from our Colombian brothers and sisters.


Reader 1: God of Hope, we pray for the Colombian government, that it may seek just solutions, respectful of the dignity of the displaced indigenous communities, the Afro-Colombian communities, and the farmers in Colombia. And we pray for the U.S. Government, that its policies would focus on social and economic renewal, instead of military focused solutions.

All: God of Hope, how your love and solidarity with the displaced people in Colombia, so they can regain hope and the ability to dream of a land where they can live in security, justice and peace.  Amen.


Closing: We remember also those displaced across the world, including the people of Sudan, Iraq, the Congo, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and so many others.  Today we bless and consecrate these dolls to be delivered to our members of Congress as reminder that real people are impacted by U.S. policies.  We urge our government to the halt policies that exacerbate displacement and support new and just policies that build a path towards peace.