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December 9th

Prayers for Peacemakers December 9, 2016


Pray with
 the water protectors at Oceti Sakowin camp as they nonviolently stand for our water, our earth, and our great grandchildren. Give thanks for their victories and steadfastness so far, and pray for them as they continue to build and develop their anti-colonial camp despite the frigid winter. 

Indigenous and non-indigenous people marching together at Oceti Sakowin Camp

December 4th

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: The spiritual roots of resistance at Standing Rock run deep

The U.S. Army corps of engineers has today, December 4, 2016 announced that they will deny key permits for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and explore alternative routes, one day ahead of a deadline they'd set for the evacuation of Oceti Sakowin. As we celebrate this victory, it is important to name the sacred roots of the resistance at the camp, which is often portrayed with ugly caricatures drawing on centuries old stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples.

When I told my friend Erica Littlewolf that I was going to Standing Rock for a week as a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams, she encouraged me to reflect from "a mind space and also a heart space" as a white man in that setting. I heard this refrain again on my first morning in the camp during our orientation to Oceti Sakowin camp, when the facilitators invited us to focus on our heart space and "walk in touch with the land and with themselves." That might mean, for example, holding onto our questions instead of asking them immediately so that we can listen to the knowing in ourselves.

Again and again during my week there, I felt Oceti Sakowin pull me into that heart space.

November 22nd

Prayers for Peacemakers November 23, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers November 23, 2016

Pray for all the Palestinians who have had to harvest their olives near settlements this season and have had to face harassment and violence from settlers and restrictions from the Israeli military.

*Epixel for Peacemakers November 27, 2016
 
 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, 
and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.


Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
 to the house of the God of Jacob; 
that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." 
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
 and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.


He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; 
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
 and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 
neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:2-4
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming 
Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

November 21st

MEDITERRANEAN: Saint Paul and Saint Luke on Lesvos--a new light on the refugee crisis from a Christian perspective.

 

In 56 A.D., Luke the Evangelist, the Apostle Paul and their companions stopped on Lesvos briefly on the return trip of Paul’s third missionary journey (Acts 20:14), having sailed from Assos (about 50 km away). From Mytilini they continued towards Chios (Acts 20:15).

In 2016, Luke and Paul would have been picked up by coastguard ships and denied entry. Paul was a Turk and Luke a Palestinian. European governments now associate both of these nationalities with terrorism.

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWSLETTER: October 2016--Turkish bombing, government corruption, teachers' demonstrations and more!

 
Updates from Hemin and his family
Hemin is a human rights activist whom CPT accompanied for more than three weeks. Hemin was beaten by the security forces in the city of Erbil; his head and eyebrows were shaved. He managed to come to the city of Sulaimani, he then asked CPT to accompany him and his family. CPT visited his family in the city of Erbil where no one was able to visit them or speak to them, because they were threatened by the security forces. Hemin and his family had no choice but to leave their home and move to the city of Sulaimani. After two weeks of living in fear, his family managed to move to the city of Sulaimani. 

Read CPT's full report to learn more about Hemin and his family
CPTers welcoming Hemin's family to the city of Sulaimani. Photo by Julie Brown

November 18th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos

 

"Kill all the Arabs" - she said


Pictured here: An Israeli woman approached CPTers who were monitoring a child arrest and told them "I love Assad, you know why? Because he wants to kill all the Arabs." Settlements within Hebron are home to many Jewish fundamentalists who promote Anti-Arab ideologies .  Their presence contributes the most to the high level of violence within the city. Read more... 
(November 14, 2016)

November 17th

MEDITERRANEAN: Thoughts on Self-Organizing; What Happens when the Oatmeal Boils Over?

 

One day I arrived early enough at the camp to find and talk with the two Ethiopian women who rise at 4:30 am every morning to bake bread for their fellow refugees. They told me they took on the task about three months ago. They saw a need, and they just started baking.

Before then, they said there was nothing available in the camp like the freshly baked flatbreads they now make. After baking the bread, they also bag small rounds of risen dough, and put those in the refrigerator to be given out later in the morning in the daily food distribution. Some families prefer to make their own bread in the cabins and tents where they stay at the camp. 

There are many different cultures living together at the camp, so this bread is not exactly like what they get at home,  but for most, what the women are producing is more common to their foodways than European-style bread.

Because handmade flatbread and dough is now available and appreciated by the refugees, I say to the women, “You two must be very important here!” They both give a good laugh, and with what I know to be both a truth and an irony replied, “Yes. V.I.P’s. Very Important People.”

November 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 16, 2016

 

Give thanks that campesino land struggle leaders of El Guayabo and Bella Union are now free pending trial.  Eric Payares, Santos Peña and Jhon Freddy have been in hiding because of false charges leveled against them by a large landowner Rodrigo Lopez Henao. Pray for Alvaro Garcia, who remains in jail, and his family.  Pray that the Holy one will soften Lopez Henao’s heart and bend it toward justice.  Pray also that the new peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC will be signed in early December, so that rural communities like El Guayabo and Bella Union, which have born the brunt of the Colombian civil war's violence, may at last find some sort of peace with justice.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 20, 2016
Erik Payares, Santos Peña and Jhon Fredy Ortega embrace their family in celebration outside the court in Barrancabermeja. (CPT/Caldwell Manners)
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1-4
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. Psalm 17:1-2, 8-9

November 15th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We are not going to leave; this is our home and our land it belongs to us.”

They keep drinking their tea while the Turkish war planes are hovering in the sky above their heads." How often does this happen?" I ask pointing to the sky.

"I don't know, it depends, sometimes six, sometimes seven days a week; it's now a part of our daily lives." Kak Kaninya Barchun, village leader of Muruke (wearing the blue shirt in the picture) says while continuing to sip his tea.

Kak Kaninya explaining their situation to our team member Latif. Photo by Kasia Protz

November 14th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine October 2016 Newsletter-- Education under occupation, struggles of the olive harvest and more!

 
CPT Palestine Newsletter - October 2016
 
 

Education Under Occupation
Part 2: Responsibilities of the Occupying Power

In Part 1 of this newsletter, we have discussed the applicability of the Geneva Conventions referring to the protection of the Palestinian civilian population living under Israeli military occupation. In this second Part we explore the responsibilities and obligations of Israel as the occupying power with respect to the civilian population. In particular, we focus on the realization of the right to education that every child, in times of peace or conflict, must be able to exercise and enjoy. Read more