Tuesday, November 29, 2005

CPT kidnapping

If you haven't come across this yet, three or four (depending on the report) peace activists were kidnapped in Iraq, one being Norman Kember, a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq.

" In a "Statement of Conviction," the long-term Team members stated that they "are aware of the many risks both Iraqis and internationals currently face," and affirmed that the risks did not outweigh their purpose in remaining. They express the hope that "in loving both friends and enemies and by intervening non-violently to aid those who are systematically oppressed, we can contribute in some small way to transforming this volatile situation."

CPT does not advocate the use of violent force to save lives of its workers should they be kidnapped, held hostage, or caught in the middle of a conflict situation."
CPT is a group of special concern for many of us. Paco has been through the CPT training and many of the people involved in my church are also associated with various CPT projects. This group is an organization of several "Peace" church groups and are in many places of the world bearing witness to the peace of Christ. May we be inspired and convicted by the witness of peace that these people live out and work toward peace and justice in hope of the release of our brothers and sisters.

Here's an updated article about Norman Kember, the CPT connection form the UK. These are quotes from a friend of his:

"He was only meant to be there for two weeks and he certainly wasn't spying," he said. "It was purely a gesture of solidarity with other people suffering - that's what he was doing."

What is interesting is tracing the role of faith for the people involved, with many references to CPT or the work being done as a "US-based human rights group." While I know some people in CPT would be reluctant to speak of Jesus in their work, I believe that some coverage may be overstating the NGO activist label and underemphasizing the peace church basis.


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