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Three Concerns For 2022

The migrants are looking for a livelihood which their home countries cannot offer. Now, they are living in tents hoping that their dreams of a dignified life will come through.

As we enter the New Year, Christians, members of other religions, and people of good will be praying for peace in their lives, societies and countries. Peace which is not only absence of war but rather the attainment of prosperity, education, health and freedom for all citizens.  

In the Catholic tradition, the World Peace Day is held on January 1 of each New Year. To mark this occasion, the Holy Father issues a message highlighting a specific theme that calls for the attention of authorities, society at large and believers. 

As of this writing, the content of the papal message has not been made public. So, I dare to suggest three situations worthy of our consideration, prayer and sacrifice for 2022. 

In the first place, we should continue our commitment to end the coronavirus pandemic. Every person plays his or her part by following the health protocols and being vaccinated. Governments and the World Health Organization ought to fulfil their pledges of an equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments, in particular to those countries that are lagging behind in the vaccination of its populations. 

Secondly, a few hotspots in the planet are a cause of concern. Suffice to mention the countries of Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Ukraine, Sudan and Mozambique. These nations face famine, tribal conflict, military dictatorship, invasion and Islamic insurgency. 

The country of Ethiopia, in the horn of Africa, has plunged into civil war between government forces and fighters from the northern region of Tigray one year ago. The prospect of an all-out war, a bloodbath and the collapse of the country is looming if the fight reaches the capital.   

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for having helped mediate conflicts and made peace with its neighbor, Eritrea. But his reputation has been tarnished by the civil war. 

Finally, we cannot continue looking away from the migration issue which is a “humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone” as Pope Francis denounced in his visit last December to the refugees and asylum seekers in Lesbos, the Greek island at the center of Europe’s refugee crisis.

These people risked their lives in a treacherous sea to reach a safe point of passage only to find themselves trapped in misery. They are looking for a livelihood which their home countries cannot offer. Now, they are living in tents hoping that their dreams of a dignified life will come through only if the world shows more compassion to them. 

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