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World’s war-torn areas need our prayers

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Mar 28, 2014 - 11:39 AM |
When I was a boy, I asked my grandfather, a Canadian soldier in the Second World War, why the world stood by and watched the slaughter of thousands of children and women and men by the hands of the Germans.

I boldly asked him “Why didn’t you do anything about it?” He replied, “We didn’t know at the time it was going on. It was towards the end of the war that we discovered the gas chambers and the mass grave sites.”

In this day where communications have reached a zenith, it is difficult to avoid the world atrocities which are reported by the minute.

Recently I sat in the comfort of my home witnessing Afghanistan infants laying in hospital beds starving to death as $35 billion in foreign aid has disappeared, never to reach its intended use. The physician interviewed responded “It is sad but there is nothing we can do.”

Our Canadian soldiers have completed their final tour of duty as they head home, having witnessed the Taliban raiding villages and slaughtering children and families. Wait to see what happens next as the Taliban take over the country in the absence of our soldiers.

We have been inundated over the past several months of reports that snipers and government forces are murdering thousands of Syrian children and families. The newspapers carry images of an endless stream of Syrians lined up for food.

There was a recent genocide reported in the Congo a mere 14 years after Romeo Dallaire begged the UN to send troops and weapons to stop the genocide going on in Rwanda.

The horrors go on and on. We are all waiting to see the results of this latest move of Putin as he extends the strong arm of Russia into Crimea and the Ukraine. When will the hunger begin and the slaughter start?

As a humanitarian living in the best country on the planet, I bow my head in shame feeling helpless not knowing what I can do to help the children and families now. I know I am not alone and that many people feel similar feelings.

So as I explore options of how to help, I extend this invitation to one and all to join me in prayer for those in need. Perhaps someday you will be able to say to your children or grandchildren — “I did do something - I prayed.”

I ask all churches and religious groups to come together within your own congregation to pray for the children and families who are in need of our prayers. Do this now, as we enter this season of rebirth, of spring.

Perhaps families can share a prayer with their children in the comfort of their home, praying for those children who are in great need of many things at this time.

Dave Battaino
Greater Sudbury

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