As you should know, I spent this past fall studying in Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao is the largest city in what is known as the "Basque Country." This is where the Basques-obviously-live. Until about 1300, the Basques were an independent nation. And until the mid-1800s, they still lived in relative anonymity and peace. They were allowed to do as they pleased and their ancient (pre-dating Christ) laws were honored by the Spanish government.
In 1939 Francisco Franco came to power in Spain and began suppressing all "non-Spanish" cultures. This included the Basques, the Catalans, and others. In 1959-in fact on July 31, 1959-at the University of Deusto-the school where I studied-the anarchic and pro-Basque group ETA was formed. ETA is an acronym for a Basque phrase meaning "Basque Homeland in Freedom."
Initially, ETA was merely a political group but quickly grew into a terrorist group. They have killed hundreds (over 800, I believe) of people-largely people connected with the Guardia Civil-a branch of the Spanish Army. They are currently hiding out in France for the most part.
On Wednesday, July 28, 2009-ETA struck again in Burgos, a city in northern Spain. See this news article. No one was killed but there were several injured.
And then today, Thursday, July 29, 2009, ETA struck again in Majorca. See here for more.
Please pray for an end to this violence and that the Spanish and French governments can bring those who are responsible to justice. Also pray for peace within Spain especially in the Basque Country as all of this continues to unfold. Pray for the souls of the men killed today and for their families. Pray for those who were injured yesterday. And pray for those responsible.