Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a Christian to join CPT?
How many people are in CPT?
Who supports CPT, and how is it funded?
How are CPTers compensated?
Who are CPT teams accountable to?
Does CPT only work in countries outside the USA and Canada?
How does CPT decide where to go, and when to leave?
Why isn't CPT working in…?
Why is CPT so anti-US?
I can't join CPT, is there something else I can do?
What has CPT accomplished, and what difference does CPT's work make?
Is CPT a missionary organization?
 

Do I have to be a Christian to join CPT?

No. CPT welcomes peacemakers who are committed to the nonviolent community of Christ, but also people of other faiths, and spiritually grounded people with no religious affiliation. On program sites, CPT works enthusiastically with local partners from a variety of faith traditions, and we encourage the formation and development of other faith-based, nonviolent peace teams. CPT delegations are open to anyone, regardless of faith commitment. Read our “Statement on Identity and Membership.”

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How many people are in CPT?

CPT has around 30 full- and part-time stipended peacemakers and nearly 200 part-time volunteers who serve in violence-reduction programs around the world. This work is supported by a Steering Committee (board of directors), which includes members who represent organizations and denominations officially sponsoring CPT.

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Who supports CPT, and how is it funded?

Our organization was founded in 1984 by three historic peace churches, Mennonite, Church of the Brethren and Quaker, and much of our support now comes from a wide range of Christian denominations, including Catholics, Baptists and Presbyterians. Some of these denominations and groups are official sponsors.

CPT is largely supported by individual donations. Thousands of individuals and hundreds of congregations make up the largest percentage of financial support. Trained CPTers participate in fundraising within their communities to support their work. CPT also receives a smaller percentage of its funding from grants and foundations. We do not accept money from any government or governmental agency.

See our annual reports for more information.

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How are CPTers compensated?

Our stipended workers (both full- and part-time) receive a monthly subsistence support stipend to cover basic needs. Reservists commit to fundraising to cover the costs of their own work, including their own health insurance expenses.

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To whom are CPT teams accountable?

Teams are accountable to their local partners and inviting bodies, and to the whole of CPT through a twice-yearly review of their work by the Steering Committee (board of directors). The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from groups and denominations that are official sponsors of CPT, some at-large members, and representatives from CPT's Peacemaker Corps.

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Does CPT only work in countries outside the US and Canada?

No. CPT is currently based in the US and Canada and we see all too clearly the many systems of violence and injustice operating in these countries. We currently have one program based in Canada, and although there is no current program in the US, we have reservists working there as parts of regional groups.

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How does CPT decide where to go, and when to leave?

CPT places teams in conflict areas only if we have established a relationship with a trusted welcoming group, who invite CPT to establish a program there. Sometimes CPT initiates contact with local peacemakers to let them know about our work. Usually, a delegation will visit an area and learn about the situation as a first step.

We look for conflicts in which an international presence can provide solidarity and support, and expand the space for local peacebuilders to do their work. When a situation becomes so unstable that violence rages out of control, CPT's work may become less effective. If the presence of CPTers is endangering local peacebuilders, we leave. CPT empowers teams in program locations to determine when they should evacuate an area, and if our local partners determine that CPT is no longer able to assist in their area, we will follow their guidance.

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Why isn't CPT working in…?

CPT is a relatively small organization and we don't have the capacity to respond to the majority of the conflicts in the world. We wish we did. We are open to starting new programs where possible, but aware of the limits of our own resources. In the meantime, we focus on staffing and funding our existing programs as effectively as possible.

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Why is CPT so anti-US?

We aren't. In fact, most CPTers are from the United States, and wish that the US would consistently live up to the ideals of justice and freedom it proudly proclaims. Sadly, US actions at home and throughout the world have run counter to these ideals, and CPT believes that we need to confront those roots of violence that grow within the US. CPTers who are US citizens are uniquely positioned, and have a responsibility, to speak to US decision-makers about the violence that results from US actions. We do this out of the loving belief that the US can become a better advocate of justice and peace if its own people speak out in solidarity with those harmed by our country's policies.

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I can't join CPT, is there something else I can do?

Absolutely. We rely on your prayers, on your sharing with others about our work, and your financial support. You can:

  • Sign up to receive email updates on CPT's work, and/or follow us on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. In addition to helping you learn and share CPT's stories, this will help you join in when CPT calls for action on behalf of our partners in the format of online or local advocacy.
  • Consider going on one of our short-term delegations. You don't have to be a CPTer to join a delegation; you just need to have the heart of a compassionate peacemaker.  Participating in a delegation helps us in the task of advocacy by empowering interested parties to learn about the work of our programs and partners, and bring what they learn to their home communities. Learn more here.
  • Join or start a CPT regional group in your community, to help support local CPTers and engage in advocacy within your own region.
  • Invite a CPT speaker to share our work with your faith community, classroom, or other interested group. Contact our Outreach Coordinator for details.
  • Host a CPT "taster training" to learn some of our tools for nonviolent action, bystander intervention, Undoing Oppressions, and more. Contact our Training Coordinator for details.

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What has CPT accomplished, and what difference does CPT's work make?

While this question is hard to answer with statistically, we can point to many cases in which violence has decreased and policies improved with the help of CPT's presence, as well as other similar groups. We know that CPT's solidarity and support has expanded the space for local peacemakers to pursue their work against the violent oppression they face. We know that our partners tell us that they are safer because of our presence and work. We know that we are one part of a larger movement against violence, and we believe that our own work contributes to that greater whole.

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Is CPT a missionary organization?

No. CPT is a peacemaking organization focused on reducing violence and protecting human rights in conflict zones. While CPTers was founded by Christian communities and has a Christian identity, and while faith/spirituality is an important foundation for the work we do, we do not proselytize.

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