Seeking justice, undoing sources of oppression and healing racism

“Learn to do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17) is the theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs from January 18 to 25. This annual ecumenical celebration is an invitation to address the challenges of our time, to unite the efforts of all Christians and to identify solutions together to seek justice and to stand up for the voiceless in our world.

The theme 2023 was chosen by the Minnesota Council of Churches (United States), which prepared materials to bring this week of ecumenical reflection to life, inspired by the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020 and the trial of the person responsible for his death.

The words of the prophet Isaiah are a stirring call to unite forces to face the many challenges of justice, oppression and law. In the material created for this week, some questions are posed for reflection and action:

“How can we live our unity as Christians in order to respond to the ills and injustices of our time? How can we engage in dialogue, increase awareness, understanding and insight into each other’s experiences?”

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity encourages openness to others and the search for ways to transform oneself. The goal is to break down prejudice, eliminate sources of oppression and “heal the sins of racism.

This week has been held annually since 1908 in the northern hemisphere, between the feast of the Confession of St. Peter (January 18) and that of the Confession of St. Paul (January 25). In the southern hemisphere, it is celebrated during the period of Pentecost.