June 8th, 2015

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




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. 

June 6th

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


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.  “Why 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




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.

May 29th

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams seeking new Personnel Coordinator and Palestine Project Support Coordinator

Christian Peacemaker Teams is currently inviting people to apply for the positions of Personnel Coordinator and Palestine Project Support Coordinator. 

Personnel Coordinator

Starting date: December 1, 2015, with likely participation in CPT’s peacemaker training in October 2015.

Position:  100% Full-time equivalent, two-year term, with a possibility of a third year.

More details here

Support Coordinator for Palestine Project based in Al-Khalil/Hebron

Starting date: September 1, 2015

Position: 50% full-time equivalent, three year renewable contract

More details here

May 28th

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 28, 2015 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 28, 2015    Palestine

Give thanks that at the end of the school year, the Israeli military allowed the children of the Saraya kindergarten to walk on the paved portion of the segregated path that runs by the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.  In March, Israeli Border Police arrested two CPTers because the team had been advocating for the children’s right to walk on the paved side of the fence where settlers walk, rather than the more hazardous, rubble-strewn side.

CPTer performs his favorite accompaniment duty on the paved side 
of the apartheid fence. 

Children on their last day of kindergarten.