A Cry for Peace

In recent months, we have seen international news coverage focus on what is happening in Gaza and Ukraine. While these crises are important to highlight and do need to be kept at the forefront of the news coverage, other conflicts in other parts of the world get less news coverage and are less well known. Our global partners are responding to various conflicts by meeting the needs of their communities in many ways including refugee response, emergency food and sanitation supplies, and cash assistance. Our partners are speaking, and we must listen.


The crisis in Haiti received international attention recently due to the dramatic increase in violence and the resignation of the Prime Minister. Haiti has been long plagued by colonization, natural disasters, political turmoil, deep poverty, and waves of cholera, but spiraled into chaos after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Today, the central government no longer retains any meaningful control. The new coalition of gangs retains de facto control despite the Haitian National Police’s best efforts. Most of the violence has occurred in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, but these gangs control the whole country. In August 2023, the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice and their project House of Hope, a United Church of Christ partner through Global Ministries, was looted and burned by one gang. Thankfully, no one was killed in that attack, but the gangs are currently killing, looting, raping, and burning throughout the capital.

Haitians, particularly those who live in Port-au-Prince, are fleeing to any safe place they can find. And how did the United States government respond to this crisis? By claiming they might open a migrant holding and processing center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States has intervened in Haiti many times since Haitian independence, contributing to much of the current turmoil. Haitian citizens, including our partners, have repeatedly called for a Haitian-led solution, not one imposed by other countries.


Myanmar has been under military rule since a coup on February 21, 2021. Since then, various resistance movements across the country and the military have engaged in a protracted conflict that involves most of the population either by choice or by force from either side of this conflict. A recent conscription law mandating young people to enroll in the military has forced young people to engage in this indiscriminate violence. The suffering in Myanmar has prompted civilians to seek refuge in churches as safe havens. Regrettably, reports have surfaced about violent incidents within sacred compounds. Some churches have become war zones, and religious institutions have been forcibly evacuated.

According to one partner, many seminaries ended their academic year before Christmas 2023 due to the continuous bombings and air strikes. Some seminaries have moved to new locations for their safety and survival. Many people are dying, and many, including pastors and church members, are under constant air strikes and rockets that come from both sides of this conflict.

Holding gatherings and worshiping is illegal in present-day Myanmar, as the military junta passed a law that no more than five people could assemble without permission. This prohibition order is still enforced, and the military government is watching Christians and other religious institutions for violations.


Fighting between the national army and a paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces, has been ongoing since April 15, 2023, as part of a violent power struggle. Leaders of both groups came together with others in 2019 to oust longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir. A democratic transition was established in the aftermath, but there was a military coup in October 2021. Since the coup, there has been tension between two of the coup leaders, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti), which has now led to the current conflict.

This conflict has displaced 8 million people, leading to a significant increase in internally displaced people (IDPs), asylum seekers, and refugees. This conflict has also exacerbated many of Sudan’s pre-existing challenges such as disease outbreaks, economic and political instability, and climate emergencies. Half of Sudan’s population, about 25 million people, need humanitarian assistance and protection. The country is facing extreme shortages of food, water, medicine, and fuel and around 18 million people face acute food insecurity. According to UN officials, Sudan is “one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history” and is close to widespread famine if nothing is done.

This conflict could become a proxy war for other countries. Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and, most recently, Iran are all battling for influence in Sudan.


Mainstream news coverage has documented Houthi militias attacking ships heading into or out of the Red Sea to prevent military supplies delivery to Israel but has failed to highlight Yemen’s ongoing humanitarian crisis coming out of 9 years of war. Yemen has been torn apart by a Saudi/UAE-Iranian proxy war, fueled by US arms. A UN-brokered truce that took effect in April 2022 brought a sharp reduction in hostilities. But the truce expired in October 2022, and fighting mostly remains on hold following a renewed peace process reached in December 2023. However, the stability brought about by a permanent end to the conflict is needed. And the Saudi air, sea, and land blockade has prevented the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian aid, causing the current humanitarian crisis.

An estimated 4.5 million people, 14 percent of the population, are currently displaced, and most have been displaced multiple times. Two-thirds of the population of Yemen, 21.6 million people, remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection services. The risk of a large-scale famine is imminent. Tens of thousands are already experiencing famine, with a staggering six million more just one step away from it.

These are just a few of the crises where our prayers and advocacy are needed. As you consider what tangible actions you can take, we encourage you to sign up to receive updates, news, and resources from Global Ministries, international partners, and mission co-workers. Additionally, your voice makes a difference! Sign up to receive the “Justice & Peace Action Network” (JPANet) alerts on urgent public policy issues that will provide an easy way to send messages to policymakers, calling on them to build a more Just (and peaceful) World for All.

Categories: Getting to the Root of It

Related News

A Cry for Peace

In recent months, we have seen international news coverage focus on what is happening in Gaza...

Read More

2024 State of the Union

On March 7th, President Biden will give his 2024 State of the Union address to a joint session...

Read More

Imagine Reparation Germination

When a tree is planted, establishing the “root ball” correctly is critical to the...

Read More