Archive

June 11th, 2015

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams, movement building and the Detroit Peacemaker Congress

Sarah Thompson
CPT Executive Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) began with these questions: 

What if pacifist Christians trained as hard for peace as militaries (including militant Christians) trained for war?  What if pacifist Christians (such as the Mennonites, Brethren, and Quakers) were willing to sacrifice as much for peace as a soldier is willing to sacrifice for war?  What could happen? 

Christian Peacemaker Teams is part of the answer to that question. Having begun in 1986, in the crucible of Latin American solidarity movements, CPT has continued to thrive within various social movements as a creative, faith-inspired organization committed to undoing oppressions and to strategic peacemaking interventions in situations of violent conflict.  Joining with you all—people who belong to social movements, have risked a lot, sacrificed much, and experimented with healthier ways of sharing this planet—enlivens our work.  It is one reason we hold a Peacemaker Congress every other year—this year it will take place in Detroit—so that our workers in the field can engage with you, our supporters. and new people interested in movement building. 

June 10th

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 10, 2015 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 10, 2015     Iraqi Kurdistan

Give thanks for the successful completion of the eight-week psychosocial program in Bazian, Iraqi Kurdistan that brought together youth who were Arabs from Anbar province, Yazidis from Sinjar mountain, and Syrian Kurdish and Syrian Arab refugees.  CPT partnered with REACH to create an experiential learning program that focused on communication, team building, and trust with the multi-faith, multi-cultural group of participants: children aged 11 to 14 and young people aged 15 to 18. 

*Epixel for Sunday, June 14, 2015
He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;
yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, 
so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." Mark 4:30-32
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common 
Lectionary  readings.

June 8th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 24-30 May 2015

 

END OF SCHOOL YEAR

 

Pictured here: Last week was the end of the school year in Palestine. On the last morning of school, our Kindergarten friends sang for us. These children who are filled with joy, also brought us a lot of joy. 
(27/05/2015)

June 6th

NIGERIA: Nigerian Church of the Brethren builds interfaith community for people displaced by Boko Haram

in:

Children sat, watching, under a shady tree. Women in colorful Nigerian dress, carrying babies on their back, wandered by to greet us. The sound of hammers filled the air at the site of the building site, on the north edge of Abuja, shortly after I arrived in Nigeria, in late March.  Men were nailing sheets of metal roofing on the three-room houses that would make up the Gurku Interfaith Camp for families who fled the violence of Boko Haram and lost everything. Near the houses were latrines and small block structures for kitchens that two families will share.  Families moving into the camp have done much of the building, from making mud bricks, cured in the sun, to building the walls and roofs.

Markus Gamache, a member of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), or the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, spoke about the vision he and other members of the Lifeline Compassionate Global Initiatives (LCGI) have—to bridge the growing divide between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. In a country where the militant group, Boko Haram, has generated a new wave of horrific Muslim-Christian violence, what better way to resist the growing religious tensions, than to start a new community where displaced Muslims and Christians, representing many tribes, villages and languages, can live mixed together as a model for inter-religious reconciliation? 

June 5th

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: IPS team attends Judy Da Silva’s court hearing, reconnects with partners, visits Shooniversity campus

 

Randy Fobister, Chuck Wright Carrie Peters, and ally Jon Benson 
                 
Photo by IPST intern Aly Ostrowski

May members of IPS team journeyed to Treaty #3 territory of northwestern Ontario to visit friends and partners of the project.  They timed the visit to attend the 14 May hearing about a pre-emptive injunction served to Judy da Silva of Grassy Narrows First Nation following a water ceremony originally planned on Canadian National (CN) Railway tracks running through Grassy territory.  At the request of an Elder, ceremony participants moved the 10 April ritual away from the railroad.  Although a Kenora court dissolved the injunction, da Silva awaits another court hearing on June regarding CN’s lawsuit against her.

While in Grassy, CPT-IPS had the opportunity to visit with a few long-time friends and partners. Local trapper, Shoon, shared about his passion for passing on traditional practices and showed the team a locally produced video entitled titled “Shooniversity,” which documented a workshop he led in the community on tanning hides. The team also hosted Band Councilor Randy Fobister for a pancake breakfast at the local Trapper’s Centre, where he shared about his efforts to assert sovereignty within Grassy territory and mobilize First Nation members, particularly youth, to advocate for protecting of the forest.  â€śWhy would you want to destroy that which makes Grassy strong?” Fobister asked rhetorically. After a few nights in Grassy greeting people and receiving updates, the team returned to Kenora.   

June 4th

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Susiya-a Palestinian village facing obliteration


In the rocky, dry hills south of Hebron, the village of Susiya—where human presence dates back thousands of years—may soon be wiped off the map, if Israel has its way.  On 5 May 2015, High Court judge Noam Sohlberg, who lives in the Alon Shvut settlement, denied the request by Susiya’s residents for an interim injunction on all demolition orders until the final decision by the Supreme Court. His ruling means that the Israeli authorities might demolish more than 100 houses, the kindergarten, the school and the clinic from this village at any moment, displacing more than 300 Palestinians from their residences.

Susiya’s rich history condemned its inhabitants. Israeli authorities decided to evict them based on its heritage value for Jews. In 1986, it forcibly displaced sixty families without compensation after declaring their village an archeological site. The villagers who struggled to stay tried to make do with the remaining plots of the 6,000 dunums of Susiya’s land, even though a nearby Israeli settlement with the same name had partially taken those over as well. Settlers established a synagogue outpost where Susiya once stood, along with an archeological park. Despite having some of its land legally under their possession, the Palestinian residents of Susiya found it practically impossible to rebuild their homes on their own land, due to severe restrictions of Israeli military laws in the West Bank regarding any Palestinian development, especially in areas close to settlements.

June 3rd

Prayers for Peacemakers June 3, 2015 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers June 3, 2015  Colombia

 Pray for the Colombia team’s partner Cahucopana and the communities it works with in northeast Antioquia who have been heavily affected by the renewed fighting between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas. Residents of the communities have decided to stay in the territory to defend their livelihood and have asked the national government to stop bombing the region and seek a negotiated solution to the conflict.

*Epixel for Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cahucopana organizers in Antioquia, 2012

 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives From far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; 
you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. Psalm 138:6-7

 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common 
Lectionary  readings.

June 2nd

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Flagrant settler violence, with Israeli military collusion, increases in Tel Rumeida

The month of May saw an increase in settler violence in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, where Palestinians live in close proximity to aggressive, ideological Israeli Jewish settlers. 

On 9 May, a Palestinian woman and her two children from the Abu Shamsiyeh family in Tel Rumeida were on their way to go shopping.  Settlers attacked one of her children.  A Palestinian man pushed the settlers away from the crying Palestinian child, which made the settlers furious. They wanted the Palestinian man arrested for “pushing a settler.” When soldiers did not arrest the Palestinian man, the settlers started harassing people and attacked a Palestinian woman trying to film the incident. The harassment went on for over an hour, during which they spit at and pushed people. The soldiers prevented many people from going to their homes. When the woman returned from the shop a while later, soldiers did not allow her to go home for quite some time.  The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) documented the incident on video and wrote a full report. Read the report and watch the video here.

June 1st

IRAQI KURDISTAN: May 2015 Update

 

MAY 2015
 

Iraqi Kurdistan

Visit to Gullan

On May 5-6 we visited our friend Kak Latif in his home village of Gullan.  CPT has partnered with Kak Latif and other activists who are speaking out against Exxon Mobil oil exploration in the region.  On a walk through the mountains that surround his home, we were reminded of the sacredness of land and our delicate connection to it.  We are extremely grateful to Kak Latif and his family for their hospitality and their struggle to preserve the land that gives all of us life.

May 30th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 17-23 May 2015

 


GIRL INTERRUPTED

 

Pictured here: A Palestinian girl is briefly stopped on her way home as she makes her way past the weekly settler tour. While it may seem a minor inconvenience, when put in the context of constant Israeli military occupation, it is part of an ongoing process of control and intimidation. The weekly settler tour is an intrusion into an already restricted public space, with some private spaces also occupied by the Israeli military for extra surveillance.
(23/05/2015)