Brasil celebrates the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children 2013

Brasil celebrates the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children 2013Leer en castellano… In Brazil, thousands of children, families and communities participated in the celebration of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, sponsored by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and the Pastoral of Children, with the support of other institutions working with children. During the third week of November (from November 18 to November 24) interfaith celebrations and cultural and recreational activities with children and their families were organized with the aim of promoting the eliminating violence against children. 

The Pastoral of Children invited the religious leaders and representatives of community groups and faith-based groups to participate in “expanded conversation circles” to develop solid strategies on how to meet the challenges presented by violations of the rights of childhood. The Discussions focused on two key questions: What children’s rights are not being achieved in the city? What sort of support may be given by the coordinators, leaders, churches, congregations, religious traditions, and other groups so that children may achieve these rights?

It is to be mentioned that the Curitiba Municipal Council approved a local ordinance establishing the Day of Prayer and Action for Children as an official celebration to be held in Curitiba annually on 20 November, with the support and participation of civil society organizations, interfaith groups and institutions working with and for children. Clovis Boufleur, institutional relations manager of the Pastoral of Children and GNRC national coordinator monitored the process of the elaboration and approval of this ordinance, along with representatives of the Religion of God, the Legion of Good Will and the Focolare Movement.

This year’s World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was held in many cities in Brazil, under the leadership of the Ministry for Children.

More information is available at:

The GNRC-Brasil participated and/or led the organization of the events  in Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Porto Alegre.

In Curitiba, a major event was organized on Saturday 23 November in order to “reduce violence, poverty and build peace.” Regional authorities participated in the event some. The Municipal Councillor Geovane Fernandes presented the new ordinance establishing the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children as an official celebration.

One of the central moments of the celebration was the interfaith prayer with the participation of various religious traditions and civil society organizations and with the active participation of children. Among the organizations and churches that participated in the event we mention: the Pastoral of Children, the Focolare Movement, the Legion of Good Will, the Catholic Church, the Religion of God, the Messianic Church, the Hare Krishna Temple, the Marist Solidarity network and the Bahai Community.

The event also received the support of the Regional Administration of Boqueirao, the Army Headquarters of Boqueron, the Cultural Foundation, the Social Action and various Municipal Departments (Recreation and Youth, Health, and Education). The celebration included artistic and cultural presentations (music, dance and theater), craft workshops, health, nutrition and food security workshops and sensibilization activities for the prevention of dengue. At the end of the activities, about 500 people marched to the Boqueirao Army Headquarters, where they were received by the Commander Coronel Marcelo Gurgel do Amaral Silva.

In Sao Paulo, the celebration took place on November 23, at the St Matthew Apostle Parish Hall, where religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations came together to pray for children and to launch the new Movement for Peace and Protection, in partnership with the Pastoral of Children, UNICEF and World Vision. Over 300 people including children, young people and adults participated in the meeting. Among the faith-based organizations that helped to organize the event we can mention: the Pastoral of Family, the Pastoral of Youth and the children’s choir, representatives of various religious traditions and organizations such as UNICEF, the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, World Vision, the Latin –American Council of Churches (Clai), the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of the Presidency of the Republic. The children enjoyed many recreational activities.

In Brasilia the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was held at the Marist Education Centre on  November 23, with the goal of reducing violence and  poverty and building peace. The various religious and spiritual traditions joined in prayer and committed to take action to fight all forms of violence against children. The organization of the event was led by the Pastoral of Children.  Around 400 people participate in the event, representing: the Marist Social Centre, the Pastoral of Children, the Catholic Church, the Bahai Community, the Church of God, the Association of Women for Global Peace, the Spiritist Church, World Vision, etc. During the event, the Spiritualist Federation of Brazil and students of the Marist Social Centre presented an interracial musical and dance with the slogan “The Song of the Three Races”. During the event various educational and recreational workshops for children were organized.

A video is available at the following link:

In Porto Alegre, the event was organized by the GNRC on November 20, at the Jew Association, with the participation of 250 children and 50 adults, representing the following religions: Bahai, Christianity, Judaism and Spiritist. The activity began with a video about the activities of the GNRC in previous years. Then a moment of interreligious prayer for children was held and the religious leaders (Archbishop Jaime Spengler, Rabbi Paul IUGT, Municipal Councilor Valter Nagelstein and the president of SINEPE Bruno Eizerik) directed a message to the children. The Israelite Choir also participated in the event.

Finally, various workshops for children were organized, as well as artistic presentations.

Image gallery;…

Report by: Silvia Mazzarelli

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