June 26: U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Education for Justice | Tue, Jun 21, 2016

By Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U.

On June 26, the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, international human rights and faith-based organizations join torture survivors in raising awareness to the practice of torture in today’s world. As people of conscience, we are called not only to pray for the victims, survivors, and perpetrators of this crime, but also to labor for its worldwide abolition.

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Liberator from Injustice, you knock on the doors of our souls, 

Calling us to become a people of conscience. 


As a people of conscience give us the courage to ask:

How much longer will we stand by and bear witness 

To the cadence of those marching to the justification of torture? 


How much longer will we accept the lies 

And betrayals of yesterday’s and today’s leaders? 


How much longer will we watch the dignity 

Of our sisters and brothers be crushed beneath 

The torturers’ boots with the complicity of our government? 


In the ages of history yet to be written, where will our names fall? 

With those who chose to stand on the sidelines and absent themselves from the struggle? 

Or with those who take action against this great wrong 

No matter the cost to themselves? 


Liberator from Injustice, You knock on the doors of our souls, 

Calling us to be a people of action. 


As a people of action, we turn to you

For moral guidance and daring strength. 


May we grow in our recognition of our responsibility 

To labor for the worldwide abolition of torture. 


May we grow in our readiness to defy our government’s involvement 

In torture and call for full disclosure of what it has committed in our name.


May we grow stronger in our resolve 

To end the sin of torture in all corners of the Earth. 


May we grow in our compassion for the tortured 

As they seek to restore their dignity and trust in humanity.


May we grow in our understanding that those who torture are also in need of healing.

Oh, God, may we become vessels of conscience and action,

Carrying the promise of a better tomorrow. Amen.