Father and Child at US Border, AP imaage
“Let the children come unto me…It is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish… Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…” Jesus, Christian, quoted in Matthew 18
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Hebrew, Psalm 82:3-4
“Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or one’s own nation, but also for the benefit of all humankind, including children. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best guarantee for human rights and for world peace. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a luminous living document that enshrines the rights of every child without exception to a life of dignity and self-fulfillment.” Nelson Mandela
“It is a grave sin for one to neglect a person whom he is responsible for sustaining.” Abu Dawud, Kitab al-Zakat, 2/136, Hadith 1692
“If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” Hebrew: Proverbs 24:11-12
Immigrant children, Getti Image, via BBC
How can I, how can any of us remain silent when we hear of the difficulties of children at our border or elsewhere in the world?
Are we to remain mute because we fear being too political, one way or the other? Let us transcend politics and insist upon what is most sacred in our midst, the protection of the innocent children, especially those who arrive in our midst, desperate for any protection.
Immigrant children in detention center; Ross D. Franklin AP
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Hebrew: Proverbs 31:8-9
“We all have a duty to prevent abuse and violence against children as part of efforts to ensure the welfare of humans and respect for the rights of defenseless children. We are duty bound to treat children with compassion so that they would never feel humiliated or abused.” Ayatollah Sanei, World Children’s Day, Qom, Iran, 2007
“We must acknowledge that our religious communities have not fully upheld their obligations to protect our children from violence. Through omission, denial and silence, we have at times tolerated, perpetuated and ignored the reality of violence against children in homes, families, institutions and communities, and not actively confronted the suffering that this violence causes. Even as we have not fully lived up to our responsibilities in this regard, we believe that religious communities must be part of the solution to eradicating violence against children, and we commit ourselves to take leadership in our religious communities and the broader society. “ Religions for Peace, Multi-Religious Commitment to Confront Violence against Children, a declaration made at the Religions for Peace Eighth World Assembly, Kyoto, Japan, August 2006.THE KYOTO DECLARATION A Multi-Religious Commitment to Confront Violence against Children
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him”” Hebrew Text: Titus 3:10
Prayers for the Children:
Baha’i prayer: “O God! These children are the plants of Thine orchard, the flowers of Thy meadow, the roses of Thy garden. Let Thy rain fall upon them; let the Sun of Reality shine upon them with Thy love. Let Thy breeze refresh them in order that they may be trained, grow and develop, and appear in the utmost beauty. Thou art the Giver. Thou art the Compassionate.”
Catholic Prayer: “O Lord, omnipotent Father, we give you thanks for having given us children. They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fears and labors, which bring us pain. Help us to love them sincerely. Through us you gave life to them; from eternity you knew them and loved them. Give us the wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our example.”
Jewish Prayer: “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
And in addition to our prayers, let us act, each in our own capacity, without delay, to protect the children on the US border and everywhere in this troubled world!