The week of prayer is traditionally celebrated between 18 and 25 January (in the northern hemisphere) or at Pentecost (in the southern hemisphere). It brings together Christians from diverse confessions and backgrounds from around the world, who organize special ecumenical worships, prayer services and events.
“The search for visible unity cannot be disassociated from the dismantling of casteism and the lifting up of contributions to unity by the poorest of the poor,” states the introductory text for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013.
The theme brings into focus the strong call for justice by the prophet Micah in the Old Testament. As the introduction says, “In many ways, the situation facing the people of God in the time of Micah can be compared to the situation of the Dalit community in India. Dalits also face oppression and injustice from those who wish to deny them their rights and dignity.”
The Student Christian Movement of India was invited to prepare the resource for the week of prayer, along with the All India Catholic University Federation and the National Council of Churches in India.
Since 1968, the liturgical and biblical material for the annual week of prayer has been jointly coordinated by the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission and the Roman Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity).
Resources for the week are available in English, French, German and Spanish, and include: introduction to the theme; a suggested ecumenical celebration which local churches are encouraged to adapt for their own particular liturgical, social and cultural contexts; biblical reflections and prayers for the "eight days"; and introduction to Christianity in India.