[Anglican Communion News Service] A Communion-wide call to pray for the crisis-torn country of Burundi and the role that the Anglican Church of Burundi plays in in bringing peace and reconciliation has been issued. The call to pray – from Holy Week and through the Easter season – is being backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Archbishop of Burundi, Bernard Ntahoturi, has said that the local church has been strengthened by the prayers of Anglicans and other Christians.
The situation in Burundi is deeply concerning and remains tense and unpredictable despite high level visits to mediate a settlement to the current political crisis.
Both Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi and Archbishop Justin Welby have stressed the importance of prayer for the country
Archbishop Justin says: “Following my recent visit to Burundi I encourage churches and individuals urgently to pray for the deeply troubled nation of Burundi. Pray for its political, church and civic leaders. Cry to the God of all nations and peoples for its peace and the well-being of all its people.”
Please join the Church in Burundi in prayer through the Easter season to ask God for an end of violence, a return to real peace and a political solution that will last and be the foundation for the development of one of the poorest nations in the world.
Background and activities of the Church
The Anglican Church in Burundi (EAB) is an impartial actor in the present crisis that remains a political rather than an ethnic conflict.
The situation throughout the country remains tense with much uncertainty about the direction the crisis will take. Although the capital Bujumbura appears calmer, disturbances still occur. People are living daily in a climate of fear and mistrust. Arrests continue and people are found killed. Targeted killings and attacks still occur.
Amid the problems life goes on with people going to work, shopping, supporting their families, educating their children, going to Church, engaging in ceremonies.
However, due to the insecurity those internally displaced remain so with the result that considerable strain is put on families to provide food and shelter. People are continuing to seek ways to leave the country but movement is not easy and often restricted.
Suspension of direct financial support to the Burundi administration will inevitably have a negative impact on the economy. Already, for example students who are ready to enter university have had their support removed.
Since the membership of the Church includes those on all sides of the political spectrum and of all ethnic groups, the EAB has the opportunity to play a key role in bringing peace and reconciliation locally and nationally and to share Christ’s love in turbulent times.
Through its parish networks the EAB has the unique ability to identify need at grass roots level and to respond with humanitarian support. It has been reaching out in practical ways to the most vulnerable since the start of the crisis and has continued with all aspects of its ministry throughout the country.
A Prayer for Burundi
For the beautiful but poor country of Burundi, we pray dear Lord.
For the population living in fear and dread, afraid of the unknown and the uncertain, we ask for hope.
For those fleeing in Burundi or abroad, we pray for safety, freedom from disease and famine and the security that they may return home.
For those seeking the way of violence that they would instead seek reconciliation between all parties.
For the surrounding countries that they may remain at peace, act justly and broker a just settlement.
Enable an end to violence so that Burundi may become a beacon of peace rather than a place of fear and death.
Strengthen your church to stand for the ways of justice and righteousness and to reach out in love to the suffering.
We ask these things in the name of Him who carried all our human failings on the cross, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Click here to download a prayer poster which can be displayed in churches and chapels (pdf).