Taizé Launches Prayer Campaign for Haiti

Unites People on 12th Day of Every Month

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TAIZE, France, JAN. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- At the request of a young Haitian, the Taizé Community is asking people worldwide to remember his country in prayer on the 12th day of every month.

The day of prayer, beginning Feb. 12, will commemorate the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

On the Taizé Web site there are testimonies and appeals from several Haitians who volunteered with the community in years past.

One young man in particular, identified as Richard, noted that his country has been «plunged into deep distress.»

«Under the rubble the dead bodies are decaying,» he said. «There is a horrible smell in almost all the neighborhoods; we sleep in the open next to the garbage, the smell of urine and feces.»

There is «no more money, no more job, tens of thousands without shelter, no water, no food, no electricity,» Richard said.


He continued: «A major panic has set in because the number of police has diminished and many prisoners have escaped.

«Every night cases of robberies, rapes, shootings and so on are recorded.»

«And what is even worse,» the Haitian reported, «they circulate rumors.»

He explained: «Tuesday, just hours after the tragedy, a group of thugs, with the objective of stealing what remained to the survivors, went running around saying that the waters were rising: ‘Tsunami.»

«Imagine people seriously injured, with broken bones, trying to run.»

He added, however, that «God is great and since he is love, his plan of love is already prepared for us.»

The young man said that the songs he learned from the Taizé Community, where he volunteered in 2006, have given him «strength and confidence I would never have imagined.»

«Ask all the peoples throughout the world, during the meetings in Taizé, to pray for 12 months on the 12th day of each month for the Haitian people,» Richard said.

He added: «Do not hesitate! It is very important.»

The Prayer for Haiti, also on the community’s Web site, was written by Brother Alois.


The community also featured the statement of Bishop Pierre-André Dumas of the Diocese of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane, the president of Caritas Haiti and «a close friend of Taizé.»

The prelate underlined his belief that «our charity and the way in which we live this crisis will help increase our humanity.»

«It will help us be more generous, open and available to each other, because the symbolic ways of living together have been destroyed,» the bishop said.

He explained: «All of the symbols that join us together: the cathedral, the president’s palace, ministries, the schools, religious communities and many more places are in ruins.

«Now we have to build again to be able to live together.»

Bishop Dumas encouraged rebuilding in a way that excludes «prejudice and discrimination» and «in a way that engenders trust,» a «way that gives rise to solidarity and an open spirit.»

He affirmed that this disaster «gives us the possibility to rebuild our country in another way and understand the bond that binds us together.»

The prelate continued, «That doesn’t mean rebuilding things as they were before; instead we have a chance to build a better Haiti in which people are at the heart of everything.»

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On the Net:

Prayer for Haiti: http://www.taize.fr/en_article9707.html

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