International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

June is Torture Awareness Month.

June 26 is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has spoken many times against torture.

From the National Religious Campaign against Torture comes a variety of worship resources including this prayer:

God of all ages and times, we give you thanks for your presence among us.

We thank you for creating us in Your image, binding us together as one human family. Open our eyes so that we may see your face in all those around us. Strengthen us so that we may reflect Your wisdom in all that we say and do. Help us to act when any one of our sisters or brothers is threatened.

We acknowledge that if anyone in our human family is tortured or degraded, we are all tortured and degraded. We confess, gracious God, that we, as a nation, have permitted the practice of torture. Give us the courage to investigate our nation’s use of torture, to understand our own complicity and to seek healing for both the tortured and the torturer.

We want to be passionate and persistent in ensuring that all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are prohibited by law, and that our nation consistently upholds its deepest values. In your presence, we pledge ourselves to work without ceasing until Your truth becomes our nation’s reality.

We pray for positive steps that can end torture forever, especially the establishment of an independent, nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry to understand the causes, nature and scope of U.S.-sponsored torture. May such an inquiry help to prevent the use of torture in the future.

Merciful God, may healing overcome brokenness, hope overcome fear, and action overcome despair. Lead us in Your way of truth and justice.

And let us say, Amen.

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