Dear prayer partners,

The United States has experienced a traumatic and tumultuous week, with the implications thereof still unfolding. President Donald Trump is facing a historic second impeachment after Democrats in the House of Representatives formally charged him on Monday 11 January, with one count of “incitement of insurrection” over the Capitol Hill riot. The impeachment resolution has the support of more than 218 Democrats in the lower chamber, which is said to be enough to ensure its passage. However, for Mr Trump to be removed would require conviction in the Senate, and the Senate is in recess until after Mr Biden’s inauguration on 20 January, and Democratic leaders have said they will not take up impeachment until after the Biden administration has had time to try to have nominees confirmed and to pass key legislation in its first 100 days. It has been reported that the impeachment process is being pursued to prevent Mr Trump from running for office again in the future. There have been threats of further violence if attempts are made to remove Mr Trump before his term expires.

On Wednesday 6 January, President Trump addressed thousands of protesters and repeated claims that the election was stolen from him. Mr Trump’s supporters then proceeded to storm the Capitol building in Washington DC – on the day Congress was meeting to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory. The Capitol houses the two chambers of the US government that make up Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Clashes began outside the Capitol as crowds started to chant and press up against barricades, the police responded with tear gas and pepper spray. However, police officers struggled to maintain control of the situation as protesters advanced on the building on multiple fronts, entering the building. Senators were forced to abandon the process of confirming President-elect Biden’s victory and the building went into lockdown until President Trump called on protesters to calm down and leave peacefully. Five people died and 64 were arrested.

On Thursday 7 January, Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden will succeed President Trump and be inaugurated on 20 January. President Trump promised a smooth transfer of power and called for “healing and reconciliation”. In the aftermath, beside the Democrats signing a new article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, two Republican senators said he should leave office immediately. On Friday 8 January, Mr Trump said he will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, but it appears that Vice-President Mike Pence will attend.

As the largest Christian nation in the world, the United States is seen by the world as the face of Christianity.  An estimated 77.5% of the population professes to be Christian and therefore, whatever happens in the United States has far-reaching consequences for the Church’s testimony globally – whether the acts have been perpetrated by Christians or not. For this reason, it is important to see a peaceful transition of leadership within the US, because Christians are known for the message of love and peace. In this time, the Church in America needs to demonstrate that their trust does not lie in human leaders, but in God, who is still fully in control, no matter who the president is. 1 Peter 2:13-17 says: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.” (NIV).

Please join with us in praying for leaders within the United States to be voices of peace during this time and for the Lord to protect the unity of the Church – that the enemy will not use political differences to cause division.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

“Politics will never get us to unity. It’s only Jesus.” (Anonymous)