Prayers for Peacemakers, 7 February 2018 Lesvos
Pray for the liberation of refugees from the brutal violence that the EU and Turkey subject them to. Pray for the transformation of the oppressive and violent situation on the Greek Islands to a peaceful and just togetherness.
There is a growing number of paperless refugees who have fallen out of the system due to the rejection of their asylum applications and the threat of deportation. Many hide in the forests and abandoned buildings of Lesvos.
Pray for refugees from the Indian Peninsula (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh), who are all subject to discrimination. All of the Bangladeshi community has been deported, apart from a few who are in hiding, or who have successfully escaped by stowing away in containers that are shipped by ferry to the mainland. There are few services to support these refugees, and almost no interpreters, often forcing them to communicate in languages that they do not know well.
Pray for Shakib*, a partner and friend of the team. Shakib is a member of the Pakistani community and a resident of Pikpa Camp. Recently he went voluntarily to the EASO (European Asylum Service Office) to renew his identification. He knew that people whose asylum application has been rejected twice will be arrested if they go to the asylum office, and held in prison to await deportation. He had been hiding for more than a year. He did not want to wait anymore.
They arrested Shakib immediately. In the prison he was assaulted and attacked by a police officer, and later accused of being the one to attack. When Shakib was tried for the incident, there was no interpreter to help him. The judges decided to postpone his trial for two months. “I pray to God. God sees everything,” Shakib warned them.
Shakib told all of us to pray for him. We ask that you join with us to honor his request. Pray for his freedom from prison. Pray for his reunion with his family. Pray for all the other refugees who are in his situation: imprisoned, dispossessed from their freedom of movement, disrespected and oppressed because they do not recognize the division of our whole mother earth.
*(This is a pseudonym to protect the individual.)