Archive

April 7th, 2016

AL KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 1-6 April 2016

Demolition

 Pictured here: Israeli forces demolished six homes in the Palestinian village of Um Al-Khair. Thirty-five people, many of them children, are now without shelter.

April 6th

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 6, 2016 Europe

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 6, 2016  Europe 

Pray for the refugees and migrants in Greece facing deportation this week because of the European Union’s agreement with Turkey.  Pray for CPT-Europe’s partners on Lesvos, who are facing the shutdown of their collaborative, humane camp at Pipka by the local authorities.  The mayor of Lesvos plans to ship all the residents from Pipka to detention camps, including some of the most vulnerable refugees: those with disabilities, lone women and children, survivors of shipwrecks.  Please prayerfully sign this petition to keep Pipka open.

 

April 10, 2016  Third Sunday of Easter
Frontex Corporation officials guard migrants they are deporting for the European Union.
Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Acts 9:3-5
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

April 5th

COLOMBIA: Palm oil company attacks and intimidates Las Pavas community members

 

Burned house and kitchen | Photo: Marian DeCouto

Palm oil company Aportes San Isidro continues to harass and threaten the community of Las Pavas in 2016.  The farming community’s association ASOCAB continues to denounce these aggressions to no avail.  Even though judicial and administrative decisions have appeared to favour the community, the reality on the ground remains the same.  For this reason ASOCAB has published a public complaint against the company regarding the most recent events in hopes that the authorities will put an end to the impunity.

ASOCAB demands that the government “investigate and sanction those responsible, both the owner as well as the security guards, who are blatantly violating our fundamental rights and liberties.”  The community also asks that the government to guarantee their safety and to follow through with the allocation and titling of the Las Pavas land that the National Institute of Rural Development (INCODER) has deemed state land.

 A summary of the most recent incidents is as follows:

March 31st

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 31, 2016

 

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team gives thanks for Canadian Churches responding positively to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These denominations are embracing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, repenting of the historic role of Christianity in assimilation efforts, committing to make amends for the impact on Indigenous culture, land and governments.
We pray that the churches will be a prophetic voice that speaks against injustice and any agendas of government and corporation that afflict Indigenous communities around the world.

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team gives thanks for Canadian Churches responding positively to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These denominations are embracing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, repenting of the historic role of Christianity in assimilation efforts, committing to make amends for the impact on Indigenous culture, land and governments.

We pray that the churches will be a prophetic voice that speaks against injustice and any agendas of government and corporation that afflict Indigenous communities around the world.

Epixil* for April 3, 2016, Second Sunday of Easter
 Canadian church leaders prepare to deliver a statement on Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #48
Canadian church leaders prepare to deliver a statement on Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #48
Photo Credit: KAIROS Canada
"But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority." "
Acts 5:29
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

March 23rd

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 24, 2016

We give thanks for the members of the 2016 Holy Week delegation, a national delegation arranged by CPT Colombia. Pray for their safe travel, for group cohesion and effective engagement as they learn about the work of CAHUCOPANA.

This Holy Week, join your prayers with peacemakers across the globe as we remember the journey of Jesus and his friends to Jerusalem, the terrible events that took place there, and the good news that we have heard ever since.

Epixil* for March 27, 2016 Easter Sunday 
Holy Week Delegation
Members of the Colombian National Holy Week Delegation
They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
Isaiah 65:21-25

They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Isaiah 65:21-25

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

March 21st

IRAQI KURDISTAN: KRG Authorities Prevent CPT from Conducting a Public Action

CPTnet
March 22, 2016

Iraqi Kurdistan: KRG Authorities Prevent CPT from Conducting a Public Action
by Rebaz K. Mohammed, CPT Trainee, Sulaimani-Iraq

 

Asaysh (security) department in Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, denied approval for a group of CPT trainees to conduct a public action in solidarity with the government employees. The action was to take place in Azadi (freedom) Park, Sulaimani, on the February 19, 2016.

After the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan (KRG) failed to pay public-sector employees’ salaries for the last 5 months, a number of public sector employees in Sulaimani went on a strike demanding their rights in salaries. The strike included, but not limited to, teachers, traffic police, and doctors.

The 2016 CPT-training group in Sulaimani prepared a public action to demonstrate their appreciation for the hard work the employees have done without pay for such a long time, and at the same time, to show support for the employees’ demand for their rights. This would have been demonstrated through a short theatrical performance by the trainees, with the support of the CPT team in Sulaimani.

March 20th

COLOMBIA: Public Declaration issued by CAHUCOPANA regarding the persecution of Carlos Usaga

CPTnet
March 21, 2016
COLOMBIA: Public Declaration issued by CAHUCOPANA regarding the persecution of Carlos Usaga 

 

The Corporation for Humanitarian Action, Cohabitation, and Peace in Northeast Antioquia – CAHUCOPANA – denounces the persecution and intimidation of Carlos Alfredo Palacios Usuga, member of the Board of Directors of CAHUCOPANA.  The incident, carried out by unidentified men, took place in the municipality of Remedios, department of Antioquia.

Incident

On March 2 of this year, Carlos Palacios was running errands in the urban centers of the municipalities of Segovia and Remedios, preparing later to travel to the rural sectors of these municipalities.

At approximately 11:00 am Carlos left the City Hall of Remedios, where he had been processing paperwork for a regional development project, and headed to the office of the Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC) located in the same municipality, when he realized an unknown subject had followed him. Without giving it much thought, he then went to a restaurant for lunch, then to a hairdresser, and finally back to City Hall.

During his route, the subject followed Carlos and waited outside each establishment until he left. At 4:00 pm outside of City Hall, a blue and black motorcycle picked up the olive-skinned man, who was wearing jeans, a white and orange striped shirt, and white and black tennis shoes. However, before leaving he took a picture of Carlos with his cell phone.

March 18th

BORDERLANDS DELEGATION: “Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason”

CPTnet
March 19, 2016
BORDERLANDS DELEGATION: â€śDoing the Right Thing for the Right Reason”

The USA-Mexican Border wall cuts a brown line through the vast desert terrain. It is visible for miles as it snakes to the horizon. This is the wall that Mexican and Central American migrants climb and jump over, sometimes four or five times, to return to an established life in the US or to start a new one they hope will be better than the life they left behind. In the eyes of the Border Patrol and US immigration policy, they are doing the wrong thing. Without the proper "documentos," they are breaking the law. Period.

But in their own eyes and those of their families, migrants from the south are doing the right thing for the right reason. Victor, a 30-year-old man we met in the Comedor, a migrant resource center operated by Kino Border in Nogales, Sonora, had just been deported from the US—dropped off by a bus at the border after serving 90 days in a private detention center for illegally crossing the border. Victor had lived in New York since he was 9 years old, worked in a restaurant, and had a wife and three children. He had returned to Mexico only briefly—for three hour—to see his mother before she died. After leaving his mother, he returned to the border to cross back into the country that he called home. He was caught by Border Patrol and convicted through Operation Streamline, a fast track means of processing illegal entry cases in groups of up to 70 migrants. He was sent to detention. He had tried to cross the border two previous times and had received shorter sentences—15 days and 30 days. He would try again, he said, though he would likely get a two year sentence next time. In his heart, he was doing the right thing for the right reason. It was really the only thing he could imagine doing.

March 17th

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 17, 2016

We give thanks for the peacemakers-in-training in Iraqi Kurdistan, who recently passed the halfway mark of their training. We ask for endurance and fortitude for all involved in this training, as the group shares skills, learns history, and experiments with peacemaking and justice-seeking in this specific context.

*Epixil for Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016 Sixth Sunday in Lent
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Isaiah 43:19
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
Isaiah 50:6-8

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

March 16th

CPT-EUROPE: "Sinking in the Sea and Walking for a Better World"

CPTnet
March 17, 2016
CPT-Europe: "Sinking in the Sea and Walking for a Better World"
By Ronbir Mohammad

(This article is the first in a new series of reflections: "The Border is Everywhere.")

 

In the summer of 2013, I walked with a group of refugees and allies from Malmö in the South of Sweden to Stockholm, the Swedish capital, as part of what we called “Aylstafetten.” We wished to transform Sweden to a country where refugees would be treated as human beings. Many of the refugees walking with us had no legal status and were “without papers.” For many of them, it was the first time experiencing solidarity from so many white Europeans.

As we moved in the capital amidst its power dynamics, some of those same dynamics were reproduced among the walkers, whether we wanted it or not. Some of us were white Swedes, others non-white Swedes born in Sweden, some non-white Swedes born outside Sweden who had acquired citizenship, others refugees with residence permits, and some refugees lacking residence permits but present in the country legally. The most vulnerable were refugees without papers who could be captured at any time and deported to “their countries”.

But during the walk we were equals. Whether we were swimming in the blue lakes of Sweden, walking past the small red houses in the countryside, or handing out leaflets and shouting slogans, we were equals. We were equals when we enjoyed the tasty Afghan food our fellow comrades made, or when we were singing, reciting poetry, and giving each other massages. We were comrades. During the month we walked, conflicts broke out and were solved. Stories of love, jealousy, tears, and laughter. The solidarity between the walkers was so strong that sometimes, as I was simply walking along and smoking, my heart was so filled with joy I wanted to shed tears.