Christian charity CARE has urged prayer for the government of Northern Ireland, as continuing political tensions escalate since September.
On 10 September, professing Christian Peter Robinson stepped down from his position as First Minister, and other DUP ministers in Northern Ireland also resigned after the DUP was unable to adjourn the Assembly.
According to reports, the DUP had called for the Assembly to be adjourned, asking Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene, after a former IRA man was killed in August, allegedly at the hands of members of the IRA. The proposal to adjourn the Assembly was opposed by the SDLP and Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin, which shares power in the ruling executive in Northern Ireland, claimed the IRA was a defunct organisation, but many believe it has not disappeared, just gone underground.
In a report by the BBC in August, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) said Sinn Féin’s denial that the IRA existed caused a breakdown in trust. The crisis deepened in September, when Sinn Féin’s northern chairman Bobby Storey and two other senior republicans were arrested in connection with the murder.
As the DUP is the largest party in Northern Ireland, the power-sharing institutions cannot operate without them. In a statement, CARE said, ‘We are deeply concerned at this development, both for the proper governance of Northern Ireland and for the impact the collapse of the Assembly would have on several key issues on which CARE works.
‘Please join us in praying for continued wisdom for those involved with the Stormont crisis talks and for a mindset focused on peace and reconciliation among the various leaders. Please pray too that God will guide and influence discussions and use this situation for his good purposes in Northern Ireland’.