Follow-up information to request for statements of support.
Dear supporters of Christian Peacemaker Teams,
Thank you for considering making a statement of support for CPT as we seek
to encourage the quick release of James, Tom, Harmeet and Norman. This
e-mail follows an earlier e-mail request for support, issued at 4:54 p.m.
The following is some additional information on CPT and its work in Iraq
that you may find helpful towards writing a statement of support. In
response to some early inquiries on where to send your statement, we
encourage you to use your usual networks and just send us a copy at
guest.996427@MennoLink.org. Again, if you do have connections in the Middle
East, it would be particularly helpful for you to translate your letter into
Arabic and distribute it to your contacts and media in the Middle East.
Christian Peacemaker Teams
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Mission of Christian Peacemaker Teams
CPT offers an organized nonviolent alternative to war and other forms of
lethal inter-group conflict. CPT provides organizational support to persons
committed to faith-based nonviolent alternative in situations where lethal
conflict is an immediate reality or is supported by public policy. CPT seeks
to enlist the response of the whole church in conscientious objection to
war, and in the development of nonviolent institutions, skills and training
for intervention in conflict situations. CPT projects connect intimately
with the spiritual lives of constituent congregations. Gifts of prayer,
money and time from these churches undergird CPT's peacemaking ministries.
A Brief History of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq
Since establishing a presence in Baghdad in October, 2002, Christian
Peacemaker Teams has responded to the shifting circumstances created by the
US-led war and occupation and the needs of the civilian population in the
October 2002: Initially, CPT-led international delegations sought to stop
the war through:
Support for the UN Weapons Inspection Program as an alternative to war;
Exposing the injustice and deaths from the US-led economic sanctions;
Putting a human face on Iraq, helping people in the United States understand
that Saddam Hussein was not the only person living in Iraq.
March/April 2003: During the "Shock and Awe" military campaign by the
Coalition Forces, full-time CPT personnel stayed in Baghdad in order to:
Stand alongside Iraqi families;
Provide an alternative voice to the reporters "embedded" with Coalition
Use their bodies to protect critical civilian infrastructure such as water
treatment facilities, electrical plants, and hospitals.
April/May 2003: In the aftermath of the bombing of Baghdad, CPT established
a long-term Team in Baghdad. Team members traveled within Iraq and worked
Draw attention to the huge and under-reported problem of unexploded
Raise an alternative perspective on the invasion based on interviews with
June 2003 to September 2004: During the early stages of the occupation, the
Team responded to persistent reports from families of Iraqi detainees and
initiated efforts to:
Document abuse of detainees by Coalition forces;
Assist Iraqis in gaining access to loved ones in detention;
Launch the Adopt-a-Detainee Campaign asking churches to advocate on behalf
of Iraqi detainees;
Support a variety of new and established Iraqi human rights organizations,
which suddenly found themselves with space and freedom to operate.
October 2004 to December 2004: Following a rash of kidnappings of foreign
aid workers, the Team was forced to reduce its size and visibility. Iraqi
partners, while acknowledging the potential danger CPT's presence posed to
them, encouraged the Team to remain in Baghdad.
January 2005 to the present: Human rights workers continue to encourage the
Team in their work in spite of the danger of insurgent and other attacks.
Recent activities have included:
A 5-day non-violence training and ongoing work with the Kerbala Muslim Peace
Accompaniment of Palestinian refugees to the Syrian border;
Hosting of international delegations. Since October of 2002, the Team has
hosted a total of 120 people on 16 delegations.;
Documentation of the impacts of the occupation on the people of Baghdad,
Falluja, Kerbala, Najaf, and other cities.