United States

Prayers for Peacemakers. 1 February 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 1 February 2017

In these dark times when hatred and racism are on the rise around the world, we invite you to build bridges to bring us closer to each other and to overthrow the walls that divide us by our faith, our race, our gender, and our migration status.

Let us pray that each of us can overcome the walls that separate us. Let us embrace our sisters and brothers of Muslim, Yezidi and other diverse identities, faiths and origin. Let us welcome all those who have had to leave their homes due to war. Let us pray for the hearts and minds of those who insist on dividing us to open wide.

Muslim and jew families

Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/ Chicago Tribune

IRAQI KURDISTAN: The far rights got it all wrong.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: The far rights got it all wrong.

by Rezhiar Fakhir

No doubt reading the news nowadays makes you angry with the claims that far right leaders are making specifically Donald Trump. I have been confused, troubled and shocked hearing that the President of the United States has banned people from the Muslim world entering to the US. His allegation that it is to make the US safer by banning innocent people from the Middle East has puzzled me, it is as though he lives in a different world. What is even more appalling is that many people applaud him for what he is doing. He did not just ban people but he also stated that he is only going to accept Christians as they have been most prosecuted by Daesh (ISIS) in the Middle East. Well Mr. President, you are wrong. Everyone has suffered equally from ISIS regardless whether they were Christian, Muslim, Yazidi, non-believers or any other beliefs that did not match with Daesh’s ideology. I have reflected on the statements that he has made and I think it is important that people have a real picture of what is happening here, not what Trump is trying to feed to people.

However, this is not by any means to dismiss anyone or depict who has suffered most or who has suffered least from the wars that exists in the Middle East and specifically war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I have had the benefit of meeting people from different corners of this region and worldwide due to the work that I am doing. Last summer we had a very diverse delegation coming to my region to learn about what was happening here. We visited one of the monasteries in the city of Sulaimani where the people working there have lived in Syria and fled to this city after the war started. 

Muslims praying at Dallas Airport

Photo credit: REUTERS/Laura Buckman.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016


Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016

2016 has been a difficult year. Stories about the plight of refugees in the Mediterranean sea, the peace process in Colombia, killings of social leaders and farmers, protests to defend water resources, political surprises that seek to eliminate rights of millions of people, intensifying abuses in Hebron, new disappearances in the borderlands between Mexico and the USA, ongoing wars around the world, increasing islamophobia, escalating abuse of migrants, violence against women and natural disasters that have left thousands of people homeless… The list seems endless.

However, even in all this darkness, we can always find a ray of light. It reminds us that we must not lose faith. The light, which the oppression tries hard to extinguish, lives and grows with the commitment and dedication of us all.

In this last week of 2016, let us pray for an amplification of the light in the coming year. The light that lives and shines both inside each one of us and in the world around us. Let's pray for this light to grow stronger and multiply.

Let us pray for CPT members in Colombia, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turtle Island, Greece, our partners and all the people struggling for peace around the world. Let's pray together for those who work to transform all forms of violence and oppression.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Baby watching TV

Photo credit: Caldwell Manners (El Garzal, Sur de Bolivar)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

CPTnet

19 December 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

by John Bergen

I first learned about CPT as a young child, when a member of my church joined a delegation to Palestine. This was the late 90s, and CPT was standing alongside Palestinians facing home demolitions (the Campaign for Secure Dwellings). I didn't fully understand why Israeli military forces were demolishing people's homes and taking their land but instinctively I knew that it was wrong.

Fast forward almost twenty years, and CPT continues to stand alongside people’s movements to protect community, water, and land. After I graduated from high school, I went on my own CPT delegation (to Grassy Narrows) and eventually trained with CPT and served with the teams in Kurdistan and Palestine.

People Gathering in Oceti Sakowin Camp

Photo published by Oceti Sakowin camp website. (©Toni Cervantes)

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016 

Give thanks for the world-wide solidarity the thousands of Indigenous Water Protectors in the Standing Rock encampments have aroused.  Pray for the healing of those brutalized by law enforcement officers this past weekend.  Pray that volunteers for the CPT – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team will become available to travel to Standing Rock, as the oppression of state actors and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel becomes ever more violent.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 2, 2016 
Photo by Unicorn Riot
Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right…
Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalms 17:1-2, 8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. Psalm 17:1-2, 8-9

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.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Remembering the Nakba--an act of nonviolent revolution

Every 15 May, Palestinians remember the Nakba (Great Catastrophe).  The Nakba refers to the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians during the late 1940s as Jewish Zionists were establishing the Israeli state.  The facts of the Nakba are as shocking as they are unknown to the West.  And those of us in the West are responsible for this ignorance. 

Following WW II and the Holocaust, the United Nations, influenced heavily by Zionist lobbying and the need to secure a home for the thousands of Jews displaced by the Holocaust, split the British Mandate of Palestine.  The partition is a historic example of European colonial privilege trumping the interests and rights of local communities.  At the time of the partition, European Jews owned only 7% of the land and were only 33% of the population.  Yet the United Nations allocated 55% of the land for the establishment of a Jewish state and 42% for the re-establishment of an Arab Palestinian state.  Jerusalem, comprising the remaining 3%, was to be an international city.  Palestinians had no voice and no representation in the partition.

Palestinian refugees carry their belongs after Zionist forces push them off their lands.

COLOMBIA: Download #DOPA2016 Worship and Action Resource Packet

 

Have you seen our site? cptcolombia.org

DOWNLOAD: Days of Prayer and Action Worship and Action Packet | May 22-23

May 22-23, 2016 will mark the annual Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia (DOPA). This event is celebrated in communities and congregations across Colombia and the U.S. This year, there is real hope that a Peace Accord will be signed, ending  fifty-years of fighting between the government and the FARC guerillas. As “Plan Colombia” moves to “Peace Colombia” advocates in the U.S. must call for the U.S. to end militarized aid, and instead investment fully in Colombia’s peace.

This year’s DOPA theme, “Building Peace from the Ground Up” acknowledges the role grassroots peacebuilding has had in tilling the soil for the peace agreement, and the critical role it will play in nurturing a peace that will be sustained in Colombia. Across our two nations we will plant ‘seeds of peace’ together, committing ourselves to renewed work and policies needed for a just peace in Colombia to grow.

Download the Worship and Action Packet for stories, multimedia links, prayers, resources and ideas on how to participate with us.

For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. (Zechariah 8:11)

DOWNLOAD HERE
Alvaro Garcia
Days of Prayer and Action event at the Four Square Church in El Garzal, May 2015
[photo: Caldwell Manners] 
 

Prayers for Peacemakers May 11, 2016 Biking for Peace

Prayers for Peacemakers May 11, 2016   Biking for Peace

Pray for David Jones and Michael Himlie, who will be riding one hundred miles in each of the fifty states of the United States over fifty consecutive days to raise $100,000.  They plan to donate that money to Christian Peacemaker Teams and other organizations working for nonviolence.  Give thanks for the Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine/Israel delegation that brought them together last year.

*Epixel for Peacemakers May 15, 2016  Pentecost Sunday
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them
be afraid.  John 14:27
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming  Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 13, 2016 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 13, 2016     Palestine

Pray for U.S policymakers who are questioning their country’s unwavering support for Israel.  These include Representative Hank Johnson, Senator Patrick Leahy and eight other members of congress who held up the Israeli military’s murder of Hadil Hashlamoun in Hebron last fall as an example of why the U.S. needs to re-evaluate military aid to Israel.  They also include Senator Bernie Sanders, who has called for Israel to stop building settlements and referred to the indiscriminate killings of civilians in Gaza in 2014.  Even though he misstated numbers of Palestinians killed in an interview and his comments brought a barrage of criticism from other candidates running for president, he has not backed down from his statements.  Pray that these congressional members will continue to show the courage of their convictions, and that the voters in their districts will have the wisdom to resist the pro-Israeli Occupation lobby during the elections.

 

*Epixel for Peacemakers April 16, 2016  Fourth Sunday of Easter
 
Senator Patrick Leahy                                                                Representative Hank Johnson
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your
 staff-- they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint
 my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:4-5
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common 
Lectionary readings.