Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 August 2013


 Epixel* for 25 August 2013
 Villagers showing site of oil well to team
 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. Ps. 71:4

Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 August 2013


Pray for the villagers in the Shaqlawa district.  A U.S.-based company has destroyed many hectares of their vineyards and orchards and blocked access to many more.  They are organizing to develop a campaign to regain their lands.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Kurdish villagers resist U.S. oil company’s confiscation of their land

A couple weeks ago, our team learned of the Kurdish villagers about three hours away from Suleimaniya protesting against a U.S.-based oil company that had confiscated their land.

Villagers showing site of oil well to team

On 6 August, a hot sunny day, we traveled there.  Our host, Kak Miro, expressed joy that we had made the trip.  Even though he, his wife, and two children were fasting for Ramadan, they served us water, tea, and a delicious local watermelon.

Several men arrived and began to share their story.  A U.S.-based oil company came into the surrounding valley in spring and began to build an oil well in the middle of the orchards and vineyards that hundreds of families in three villages have worked on for generations.

The construction site and adjacent roads destroyed seventy dunums (around seven hectares / eighteen acres) of five-decades-old grave vines that belonged to mukhtar's (village mayor’s) family.  The mukhtar spoke with tears in his eyes about his vines and a company worker who also cried while bulldozing them.  “He understood what he was doing, how much damage he was causing. But he was forced to do his job,” said the Mukhtar.

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 26, 2013

Give thanks for the release of whistleblower Karzan Karim, jailed in 2011 in Iraqi Kurdistan after publicly denouncing corruption at Erbil International Airport. Karzan thanked Christian Peacemaker Teams and other organizations that advocated for him during his imprisonment.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Landmines in the fields--an ever present danger

Field where the mine exploded 

As the recent CPT delegation climbed the road into the Quandil mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan we felt the coolness of snowfields still present at the end of May.  The tips of the rocky range marked the border with Iran.  We emerged from our minibus in the idyllic mountain village, Kani Spi, to spy the blue tractor moving below us on the field.  It made its way up to the yard and stopped.  Fifteen-year-old Halgurd (named for the highest mountain in Iraq) climbed out.  He greeted us and we all introduced ourselves.

As he spoke to Mohammed, our translator, he quietly and matter-of-factly told us that the day before a mine had exploded under his tractor.  “I was very scared.  But not even the tractor was harmed.  The mine made a big hole deep into the ground.  I was OK too.”  Halgurd’s father lost a leg to a mine and he knows people who have lost their lives to the same destructive weapons.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Spring 2013 Update

An overview of
CPT Iraqi
activities during
spring 2013.

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 17, 2013

Pray that the women of Iraqi Kurdistan may find freedom from domestic violence, discrimination in legal and medical systems, honor killings and other forms of oppression. Give strength and courage to those who advance women's rights and well-being.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Headway, resistance in advancing women's rights

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has published a new a report summarizing views of fellow activists in the field of Women’s Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Don't forget the living

The people of Halabja and these young protesters
ask the world not to forget the dead, but also not
to forget the living.

Iraqi Kurdistan: Investigative journalist and family punished with imprisonment, threats


The CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team is growing increasingly concerned by the situation surrounding imprisoned journalist Karzan Karim. Karim, who has been imprisoned since late 2011, was found guilty in October 2012 of violating a law criminalizing any act that "harms state institutions" and "undermines the security and stability of the region," after he published a series of articles calling out corruption he observed in the Erbil International Airport.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 20, 2013

Lord, renew among your war-weary people the gifts of lamentation
in the face of wrong, sharing in suffering, partnering with all who
stand in and for peace and good, and offering oneself to protect
from harm anyone branded as "enemy".