Recent CPTnet stories

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: Praying for God to forgive ISIS at the Easter Sunrise Service

 

He is Risen! 

Yesterday the team awoke at 4:00 a.m. to travel to the Chaldean Monastery for an Easter Sunrise Service. When we arrived we went through the usual routine of passing through the security detail, having our bags hand searched and being patted down for weapons. (Men only, since there were no women assigned to the detail.) Stepping across the threshold into the courtyard of the monastery we noticed that it was very quiet. A few people were awake but the day had not yet started.  It would be a work day for most, since Easter and Sundays are not holidays or days off in Kurdistan.

When I first came to the monastery several years ago it was a place for quiet reflection and meditation, a retreat center staffed by two priests and one sister. Now it is a refugee center for the IDPs—internally displaced persons—from Mosul, Qaraqosh and other Christian communities from Iraq and Syria. As the time of the service approached, the people living in the monastery, Christian Kurds and internationals, began to file in and the service, led by Father Jens, began. The service was in Arabic and English, one part, like the Apostle's Creed, read in Arabic, the blessing for Host in English, then the wine, in Arabic. One of the more powerful points during the worship came when the Christians in the church prayed for God to forgive Al-Bagdadi, ISIS, Al-Shabaab and finally those who most recently massacred Christians in Kenya.  As I stood there I realized I still have much to learn about forgiveness.  My heart is still hardened by revenge after spending time in the camps hearing the stories of the Yazidis. How could the people in that church who have suffered so much and lost everything they owned ask God to forgive those who have committed such horror against them? Perhaps I should open my ears and heart to the story of Jesus' passion and learn the lesson of Easter?  Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Christians of Iraq has taught me much about the road I still have yet to travel.

 Happy Easter.... He is Risen indeed! 

COLOMBIA: Be part of a true Colombian Peace Process! Join Days of Prayer and Action | 17 & 18 May 2015

CPTnet
3 April 2015
COLOMBIA:  Be part of a true Colombian Peace Process! Join Days of Prayer and Action | 17 & 18 May 2015

Tomorrow’s Peace Starts Today! ¡La Paz de Mañana Empieza Hoy!

Sunday, May 17, is a day of solidarity and prayer with brothers and sisters in Colombia.  Worship resources  are available here!  Monday, May 18 is a day to take action  and call for and end to the conflict and human rights abuses in Colombia. Organizer toolkit resources available here!

Although the Colombian government has now been in negotiations with the largest guerrilla group, the FARC, in Havana, Cuba for over two years, Colombian civilians continue to bear the consequences of the war.  Last year alone, more than 600 human rights defenders were attacked.  Fifty-five of those assaulted were assassinated, and hundreds more were threatened in early 2015. 

Now more than ever we must commit to working with the Colombian people so that people in power hear and implement the proposals for truth, justice and reparations from victims of displacement and other human rights violations as part of a long-term process for building peace.

Continue reading about some of the human rights defenders that CPT Colombia is accompanying.

Human rights Defender Eric Payares of El Guayabo, Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 1, 2015 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 1, 2015  Colombia

Pray for the farmers of El Guayabo, Colombia who are resisting displacement through the ordinary act of planting food that sustains their community and its families.

                                                                     *Epixel for Sunday, April 5, 2015
                                                                          photo: Caldwell Manners
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a  feast of rich food, a feast of
 well-aged wines, of rich food filled  with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.

And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is
spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Isaiah 25:6-7
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  
Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos 15-22 March 2015

What does the Israeli military occupation of Palestine look like, apart from all the analysis and political speeches?  Take a look:

 


HARASSMENT IN THE MARKET

 

Pictured here: Israeli soldiers harassed this young boy in the market, surrounding him, interrogating him, and refusing to let him leave. Unfortunately, these intimidation tactics are much too common in Hebron's old city. 
(16/03/2015)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Stop the Hebron Fund! New resource available.



Every Saturday, Israeli and foreign tourists gather in Hebron’s Old City for a tour that presents a false and racist history of Hebron and denies the legacy of Muslims and Jews living together for centuries. The tour is accompanied by dozens of Israeli soldiers and Border Police, who ID check and detain Palestinians. In December 2014, soldiers detained thirty-nine Palestinians, including fourteen children, and thereby preventing them from leaving or returning to their homes. Between December 2014 and March 19, 2015, soldiers invaded thirty-five homes, mostly to use these families’ rooftops as lookout posts. Settlers and tourists frequently chant as they walk through Palestinian neighborhoods, and sometimes yell threats at local children.

Nonviolent resistance to this invasion occurs every week. Palestinians who live in the neighborhood refuse to be bullied into staying off the streets. Many document the tour with their phones and video cameras.

We at Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine started a petition just over a month ago, demanding that the Hebron Fund, the group that organizes these tours, cease this weekly harassment of Palestinian neighborhoods. To date we have collected over 450 signatures.

Now, we are calling on all people to cease donations to the Hebron Fund. Many synagogues in the United States, and some churches, make donations to the Hebron Fund. Many do not know the full extent of what their money does. We have produced a pamphlet that helps explain who the Hebron Fund is and the damage they cause in Hebron’s Old City.

You can download the half-sheet individually HERE, or in a print-ready format HERE.