Behind Brazil World Cup

[ePrayer – Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil]


Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito crystallizes Brazillian’s frustration over the World Cup event: A hungry child sits with his eating utensils at the dining table, cries when his plate comes bearing not food but a soccer ball.

All people around the world are earnestly looking forward to the kickoff of Brazil World Cup 2014 on 12 June. However, behind the Event, apart from the subway train strikes that hit the newspaper headline recently, the desperate situation of local slums, ongoing unresolved livelihood issues and corruption seen at all levels demand our attention.

Brazil ranks the world’s seventh biggest economy and is even the biggest one in South America, but ironically is also at the top of the list of income disparity. Local communities have always been suffering from chronic poor education, shortage of medical service, unsafe living environment and corruption. Although in the last 5 years the Brazilian government has continuously increased the expenditure on education, medical care, housing and social assistance, the Brazilians are frustrated at their government spending $13 billion in hosting this year’s World Cup event.

To ensure a safe environment for the World Cup event and its travelers, the Brazilian police has set up a special task force since 2008 to clear up drug trafficking and triad activities in the slums of the major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Their actions seems effective and the security seems improving, but the drug dealers are in fact still active on the sly. Most slum residents feel even more unsafe with the way how the police uses their power. Police can shoot anyone they suspect, including the civilians and the innocent children.

After the World Cup, Brazil will continue to prepare for her next hosting event, Rio 2016 Olympics. Pray that Brazilian government will actively respond to the basic demands of her people, improve their living conditions and the environment in the slum areas, and seriously attend to the corruption widely seen in the country. [The Financial Times,, The Washington Post]

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labour. He says, “I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.” So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.’

‘Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:13-16)

Brazilians love to play soccer, but the slum residents living in dire straits even yearn more for better living condition, better education and safer living environment. May we not forget the need of the marginalised communities in Brazil while we enjoy the tournaments. That is what it means to know the Lord, our God.

Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil:

  • May Brazilian government respond to the different demands of people on better living and labour rights;
  • Pray for God’s protection and peace to the slum residents;
  • Pray that God will stop the abuse of power by police. Pray that the police will enforce with love and justice.

Thai Political Turbulence and Cold Weather in Northern Area

[ePrayer – Pray for the instability and cold weather in Thailand]


The anti-government strike has been lasting for two months in Thailand and the situation is becoming more intense, whether in terms of participants, scale or violence. Last November when the strike was at its preliminary stage, CEDAR staff and five supporters visited Northern Thailand. It was not difficult to recognize that local people are tired of the ongoing battle between political parties. They do not want to see people from the same country to start fighting each other and they long for peace and stability.

Ethnic minority groups living in Northern Thailand mostly are not registered and without land property. Even though they have lived here for tens years and bought the land they live and farm from local people, they have no legal security. As local government officers changed frequently, they will be posted away after taking office for only six months or one year.  The additional problem of corruption has set back effort made in the land and residential registration by ethnic minority groups.

Besides the political turbulence, Northern Thailand is affected by cold weather recently.  In some border areas temperatures are only 11°C in day time and below 10°C at night. However local families are used to warm weather and have little thick clothes. Some households lived in hut made by bamboos and wood which are not strong enough to resist the cold wind. Local Christian groups are now collecting blankets and thick clothes to give to impoverished families and new migrant families from Myanmar.

Meditate on Hymn:

Prepare the Banquet”, a Chinese Hymn | Lyrics by Sanson Lau

How to prepare the banquet? For whom? For those who are poor? Destitute? Powerless? Painful?
Will you care for them? Or express your sympathy? Will you prepare a hot meal for them? Or give them a cup of cold water? Will you bandage their wound? …

“Whatever you did for one of the least, you did for me!” The Lord Of All said clearly and surely!
Present the best to the most powerless; receive them with hospitality.

Many ethnic minority families from Myanmar and Laos have moved to Northern Thailand to earn a living and find security.  The way Christians in Northern Thailand served these migrant communities is echoing the teaching of this hymn: receiving the powerless and destitute with hospitality. May God teach and prepare us to present our caring, hot meal and medicines to the poor, the migrants, the least, the helpless.

Pray for the instability and cold weather in Thailand:

  • May God make an end to current strife and open a new way for Thailand to move towards peace and stability. Pray for upcoming election to be just, fair and peaceful.
  • Pray for God’s mercy to people affected by the cold weather in Northern Thailand, especially for the impoverished and migrant families. Pray that they can have enough thick clothes and blankets to resist the cold weather. Also pray for God’s protection to the elders, the weak and the young and infants.


Micah Sunday – Remember the Poor and the Oppressed Together

[ePrayer – Pray for justice and integrity worldwide]


Corruption is a huge barrier to ending extreme world poverty. EXPOSED is a global campaign who wishes to a light on corruption and to highlight good examples. As the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is annually observed on 17 October, CEDAR is calling churches and Christians to join EXPOSED, making appeals to the church, business and governments to operate with integrity.

Hong Kong churches and Christians are recommended to:

  1. join the GLOBAL CALL acting together to advocate an end to corruption;
  2. host a VIGIL during 14 to 20 October;
  3. set a Sunday in October as ‘Micah Sunday’ to remember the poor and the oppressed through prayers and actions.

Pray for justice and integrity worldwide:

  • Pray for an end to any kind of corruption;
  • Pray for a just and compassionate world.

URL: Micah Sunday – Exposed 2013