By Paul Dobbyn
PRAYER and fasting has been called for as an act of solidarity with marginalised people around the world whose voices will not be heard in Brisbane’s G20 Leaders Summit on November 15 and 16.
The call from Christian Church leaders comes in the midst of a series of prayer vigils around Brisbane churches under the banner, The Lord Hears the Cries of the People.
A national Micah Challenge campaign is also partnering with Brisbane churches to “shine the light” on tax dodging and corruption in the interests of the world’s poor.
Bracken Ridge parish priest Fr Gerry Hefferan led a prayer vigil at St Joseph’s and St Anthony’s Church on October 24, which had the concerns of children and young people as its focus.
“We had presentations from Brisbane Catholic Education and Centacare,” Fr Hefferan said.
“Very alarming statistics were presented, including that 168 million children from around the world are involved in child labour and each year over a million children are trafficked.”
Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission executive officer Peter Arndt said he attended a prayer vigil led by Christian Aboriginal elders in Musgrave Park South Brisbane for those whose voices will not be heard in the G20 Leaders Summit.
“The prayers were for people including those in Australia’s near north facing the reality of rising seas caused by climate change through to ordinary Australians left without work due to economic structural change,” he said.
“Australians and workers throughout the world have been impacted by the economic decisions of the rich and powerful.
“We recall the final statement of this year’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s Seminar on the Global Common Good which called for a more inclusive economy.”
Mr Arndt said information and prayer resources would be available soon for parishes to include prayers for these concerns at Masses during this time.
“In addition, Christians will be asked to consider fasting from food or something else important to them and praying for the needs of marginalised people and the earth from the morning of Saturday 15 November to the afternoon of Sunday 16 November,” he said.