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16 March

Indigenous leader and activist, Mauricio Ye’kwana works to protect the Yanomami Indigenous Territory.

You may say all these words to them; they will not listen to you; you may call them, and they will not answer.

Jeremiah 7:27

The prophet Jeremiah experienced violent opposition as he preached God’s word, suffering imprisonment, threats and abuse. Jesus, too, encounters opposition; in today’s gospel he is even accused of aligning himself with evil, when he heals a man who cannot speak.

The experience of being disregarded and opposed continues today for many of those who challenge the powerful forces that cause injustice, conflict and damage to creation.

In recent years, indigenous communities who live in the Amazon rainforest have struggled to resist threats to their lives and livelihoods – threats from intensive mining, hydroelectric dams and large-scale farming and logging operations.

Indigenous leader and activist, Mauricio Ye’kwana has been living under death threats for his work to protect the Yanomami Indigenous Territory from illegal gold miners in the Brazilian Amazon. Yet he continues to speak out. As he says:

“The fight for the Yanomami and Ye’kwana people is for survival, to keep the forest alive. Without the forest we do not have life.”

This Lent, let’s try to listen more closely to God’s voice and find ways to support those crying out for justice and seeking to protect our common home.

Lent prayer

God of all creation
help us to cherish the gifts you have given us.
Give us courage and hope to raise our voices
alongside our sisters and brothers
seeking justice and protection of the earth.


Pray for those who protect God’s creation.