CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: You can say we lost our lives--Turkish bombing of Sergali village

Hasni Islam and his son show team members Peggy and Mohammed damage to buildings in Sergali. Photo by Julie Brown.

“Back in 1991, Turkey bombed our village of Sergali so heavily that we left the area,” Hasni Islam, the village leader, told our team.  He pointed north to the mountain behind which their old village had once stood.  â€śBecause of the ongoing war between Turkey and the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) we couldn’t return to the village area, and so moved to this site and established it as our new village. But now, two months ago (June 2016), Turkey bombed around the village here, and half of the families fled again and scattered to other towns. The other half has no other place to go or the financial means to leave, so are still here, even though they are afraid.” At one time the village included 350 families, but now there are only forty.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 16-22 August 2016

 

We  Want Freedom

Pictured here: An old woman calling for freedom and justice for Palestinians in Israeli prisons, as part of a demonstration led by the Hebron Defense Committee. â€‹

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 24, 2016 Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers,  August 24, 2016  Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Pray for the 3,000 indigenous protectors of the land and water at encampments in North Dakota who are preventing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The North Dakota Homeland Security Director has cut off their access to drinking water today. Pray that the media will cover their courageous nonviolent witness and that people will respond to their call to stand in solidarity with them.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  August 28, 2016 
  Photo by Unicorn Riot
Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD,

for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:12-13
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: What peace looks like here

 

Weza village located near the Iranian border in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo by: Peggy Gish.

 â€śIs this the village of Weza?” I asked my teammate, not believing what I was seeing. This did not look like the same village our team visited in June 2010. Weza, nestled in the mountains of northeastern Iraqi Kurdistan and close to the Iranian border, looked bigger.  Fields were larger and greener and the houses in better repair.  Residents, we spoke to said that even though they know in the back of their mind that danger could return to their village, they feel more relaxed. Tourists are once again coming into the area for vacations, to enjoy the beautiful views and the milder summer temperatures.

Six years ago, in June 2010, we sat in this same village, with the uncle of fourteen-year-old Basoz, as he told us about his niece’s tragic death three weeks earlier.  A rocket had exploded near Basoz while she was preparing tea for the rest of the family who were working in their fields.  Her twenty-year-old cousin, with her at the time, was not physically injured, but was severely traumatized.  The uncle, describing the situation there, told us, “Over the last ten days, more than 200 rockets have exploded around our village.  People here are terrified, and many have left.”

MEDITERRANEAN REFLECTION: Refugee--the human face of God

When I arrived in Mytilene International Airport Lesvos Greece on 10 July, the city center and the entire island of Lesvos were not new for me. Similarities between what could be considered a Philippine tourist destination spot and the culture of Lesvos can be noticed through the architecture, scenery, weather, urban planning, stony seabed and beautiful mountains. In short, Lesvos is a holiday paradise. The street acts as such: crazy lorry drivers, ending lanes, racing cars and reasonably easy public transport—it felt like home to me. 

However, my main reason for visiting the island was to assist in the work of the Christian Peacemaker Teams Mediterranean project (CPT). Since the war in Syria and Iraq, Greece—and specifically Lesvos—has been the frontline of the refugee crises. Lesvos and the Aegean Sea coast near Turkey are the main focal points for the massive wave of refugees from different countries (Syrians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, etc.) entering the EU. After the EU-Turkey deal (March 20) everything has changed. Presently, many describe Lesvos as two worlds colliding: where holiday paradise and refugee crisis converge.