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November 22nd, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers November 23, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers November 23, 2016

Pray for all the Palestinians who have had to harvest their olives near settlements this season and have had to face harassment and violence from settlers and restrictions from the Israeli military.

*Epixel for Peacemakers November 27, 2016
 
 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, 
and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.


Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
 to the house of the God of Jacob; 
that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." 
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
 and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.


He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; 
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
 and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 
neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:2-4
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming 
Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

November 21st

MEDITERRANEAN: Saint Paul and Saint Luke on Lesvos--a new light on the refugee crisis from a Christian perspective.

 

In 56 A.D., Luke the Evangelist, the Apostle Paul and their companions stopped on Lesvos briefly on the return trip of Paul’s third missionary journey (Acts 20:14), having sailed from Assos (about 50 km away). From Mytilini they continued towards Chios (Acts 20:15).

In 2016, Luke and Paul would have been picked up by coastguard ships and denied entry. Paul was a Turk and Luke a Palestinian. European governments now associate both of these nationalities with terrorism.

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWSLETTER: October 2016--Turkish bombing, government corruption, teachers' demonstrations and more!

 
Updates from Hemin and his family
Hemin is a human rights activist whom CPT accompanied for more than three weeks. Hemin was beaten by the security forces in the city of Erbil; his head and eyebrows were shaved. He managed to come to the city of Sulaimani, he then asked CPT to accompany him and his family. CPT visited his family in the city of Erbil where no one was able to visit them or speak to them, because they were threatened by the security forces. Hemin and his family had no choice but to leave their home and move to the city of Sulaimani. After two weeks of living in fear, his family managed to move to the city of Sulaimani. 

Read CPT's full report to learn more about Hemin and his family
CPTers welcoming Hemin's family to the city of Sulaimani. Photo by Julie Brown

November 18th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos

 

"Kill all the Arabs" - she said


Pictured here: An Israeli woman approached CPTers who were monitoring a child arrest and told them "I love Assad, you know why? Because he wants to kill all the Arabs." Settlements within Hebron are home to many Jewish fundamentalists who promote Anti-Arab ideologies .  Their presence contributes the most to the high level of violence within the city. Read more... 
(November 14, 2016)

November 17th

MEDITERRANEAN: Thoughts on Self-Organizing; What Happens when the Oatmeal Boils Over?

 

One day I arrived early enough at the camp to find and talk with the two Ethiopian women who rise at 4:30 am every morning to bake bread for their fellow refugees. They told me they took on the task about three months ago. They saw a need, and they just started baking.

Before then, they said there was nothing available in the camp like the freshly baked flatbreads they now make. After baking the bread, they also bag small rounds of risen dough, and put those in the refrigerator to be given out later in the morning in the daily food distribution. Some families prefer to make their own bread in the cabins and tents where they stay at the camp. 

There are many different cultures living together at the camp, so this bread is not exactly like what they get at home,  but for most, what the women are producing is more common to their foodways than European-style bread.

Because handmade flatbread and dough is now available and appreciated by the refugees, I say to the women, “You two must be very important here!” They both give a good laugh, and with what I know to be both a truth and an irony replied, “Yes. V.I.P’s. Very Important People.”

November 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 16, 2016

 

Give thanks that campesino land struggle leaders of El Guayabo and Bella Union are now free pending trial.  Eric Payares, Santos Peña and Jhon Freddy have been in hiding because of false charges leveled against them by a large landowner Rodrigo Lopez Henao. Pray for Alvaro Garcia, who remains in jail, and his family.  Pray that the Holy one will soften Lopez Henao’s heart and bend it toward justice.  Pray also that the new peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC will be signed in early December, so that rural communities like El Guayabo and Bella Union, which have born the brunt of the Colombian civil war's violence, may at last find some sort of peace with justice.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 20, 2016
Erik Payares, Santos Peña and Jhon Fredy Ortega embrace their family in celebration outside the court in Barrancabermeja. (CPT/Caldwell Manners)
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1-4
*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

November 15th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We are not going to leave; this is our home and our land it belongs to us.”

They keep drinking their tea while the Turkish war planes are hovering in the sky above their heads." How often does this happen?" I ask pointing to the sky.

"I don't know, it depends, sometimes six, sometimes seven days a week; it's now a part of our daily lives." Kak Kaninya Barchun, village leader of Muruke (wearing the blue shirt in the picture) says while continuing to sip his tea.

Kak Kaninya explaining their situation to our team member Latif. Photo by Kasia Protz

November 14th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine October 2016 Newsletter-- Education under occupation, struggles of the olive harvest and more!

 
CPT Palestine Newsletter - October 2016
 
 

Education Under Occupation
Part 2: Responsibilities of the Occupying Power

In Part 1 of this newsletter, we have discussed the applicability of the Geneva Conventions referring to the protection of the Palestinian civilian population living under Israeli military occupation. In this second Part we explore the responsibilities and obligations of Israel as the occupying power with respect to the civilian population. In particular, we focus on the realization of the right to education that every child, in times of peace or conflict, must be able to exercise and enjoy. Read more



November 11th

MEDITERRANEAN: Refugees Incarcerated without trial – a report on CPT's visit to the Greek island of Chios

 

Photo: Amnesty International

We were welcomed into the warden’s office, the walls decorated with orthodox icons, mostly consisting of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and one image of The Last Supper hanging above the warden’s desk. We noticed that the clock on the wall was dead. Hours have no meaning in this prison, perhaps years do. The contraband detector is in the room keeping anyone from smoking here, unlike in many other public offices in Greece. Clearly, the economic crisis hit this office as the old lockers, the warden’s dusty desk and the grimy fringes on the aging curtains prove.

While we scanned the room, waiting to meet with the prisoners, Sabri arrived.  He was only 24, but looked much older—perhaps as a result of the unbearable sorrows he had experienced since the beginning of the Syrian civil war or simply because his dream of a safer life has disappeared in this prison. In either case the uncertainty and his approaching court date had made him anxious. He was told that his passport and other belongings were not in the police station even though they were confiscated when he was arrested. According to Sabri, his trial would be held on 17 October 2016 on the Greek island of Chios. With weary eyes he pled for our help getting his six stranded family members out of Greece.

Mohammad Said, 24, had been imprisoned for three months, waiting for his court date. He arrived in Greece as the only Syrian on the boat with sixteen Iranians. “Our boat was rescued by a NATO vessel and I was accused of being the smuggler by the Iranians on the boat,” he said. “Thinking I was Turkish, the Greek Coast Guard beat me, and later used violence during my interrogation.” The actual Turkish smuggler threatened Mohammad and the others at gunpoint when they asked the smuggler why he was not keeping his promise to pilot the boat to Greece. Instead, the refugees onboard had to drive the boat themselves.  Smugglers force the refugees to steer the boat. In most cases the only way to save the passengers is for someone—anyone—to grab the helm and steer.

November 10th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We feel we are living in a jungle”--bombardments and land seizures in Dinarte

Our team recently visited the villages of Kashkawa, Muruke and Chame Rabate in Dinarte subdistrict of Akre. Most of those who are living there struggle with Turkish bombardments and/or the seizure of their land by politically-connected authorities.

We visited them in order to know more about their life under the Turkish bombardment. When we arrived Yousif, a villager living in Kashkawa, along with other villagers and the village leader, warmly received us.  Yousif told us it has been awhile since the last bombardment from Turkey.   However, they are still affected by it. “Our houses are damaged and our children and families are traumatized by the former bombings.” We witnessed holes in the walls of houses and pieces of bombs on the ground.

Yousif showing the team his damaged house. Photo by Kasia Protz