Archive - 2011

December 27th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Dec. 28, 2011


Pray with the CPT Aboriginal Justice Team that the government of Canada and the non-indigenous peoples who live in this land would honor the treaties they have made with indigenous peoples.

December 22nd

IRAQ REFLECTION: Bound to not get away

Already we have waited for an hour, inside the prison courtyard. We have come to gather with family and friends of Ibrahim, a man who before resided in Halabjah. Police officials apprehended him more than two months ago and brought him to this closed facility. Outside the entrance to the prison, guests purchased an assortment of fruits and pastries to share with the inmates. This once-a-week encounter is all the opportunity provided for family and friends to stay in touch with their husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. Now as we wait, the others throughout the 30-meter square yard spread rugs and mats with provisions brought for sharing a picnic experience with their imprisoned host.  We are among more than 40 people most of which have made the journey from Halabjah to the provincial capital city of Sulaimaniya to see Ibrahim once again.

December 21st

COLOMBIA: Garzal's President, Reverend Salvador Alcántera, Forced to Flee for His Life

On Friday, December 9th, shortly after Salvador was warned that armed actors wearing balaclavas had come looking for him, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia accompanied Salvador and his family safely out of the Magdalena Medio region. CPT has accompanied Garzal and Nueva Esperanza's struggle to remain on their lands for more than four years.

Salvador's situation is not exceptional. In Colombia leaders of millions of  campesinos (small farmers) seeking to remain on their land or return to the lands from which they were displaced are more likely to be killed than  receive state protection and titles to their lands that would guarantee their safety.

December 20th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Dec. 21, 2011


Pray for CPT and its partners as they respond to Israeli military actions in Al-Khalil (Hebron). Soldiers entered the grounds of a school and civilian homes, while military and intelligence officers forced Palestinian Old City shops to stop renovations.

December 19th

AL-KHALIL/HEBRON: Soldiers enter Ibrahimi school grounds; invade civilian homes as part of training exercises

On 15 December 2011, CPT’s AL-Khalil/Hebron team received a phone call from the principal of Ibrahimi School around 8:30 in the morning, saying that Israeli soldiers had entered the school grounds. By the time CPTers arrived, the soldiers had left. Members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) also arrived around the same time.

Translating for the principal, the HRC representative said that the boys had been at a school assembly celebrating the end of semester before exams when the soldiers arrived, accusing the boys of throwing a handful of plastic chips painted in a metallic color from the schoolyard.

December 15th

AL-KHALIL(HEBRON): Israeli military and intelligence officers stop Old City shop renovations

On 12-13 December 2011, three armed officers in plain clothes from an Israeli intelligence organization, accompanied by a squadron of Israeli soldiers, forced workers to stop renovations in approximately thirteen Palestinian shops near the entrance of Hebron’s Old City.

The men in plain clothes started by inspecting the construction work going on in the shops near Bab il Baledeyya.  They asked questions of the owners, checking in particular the structures that had belonged to the Jewish community in Hebron prior to 1929. 

December 14th

PALESTINE LETTER: “It takes love to fight an Occupation”

Jesus’s message is to love your neighbor and love your enemy. Jean Zaru asks in her book, “What if your neighbor is your enemy?” Love doesn’t cancel love; we have to love our neighbors twice as much in this case!

December 13th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Reflections on Advent – Following God’s Call

Following God’s Call 

by Pierre Shantz

Advent is a time of hope and waiting.  We all anxiously await the birth of Jesus. It is a time of celebration. We sing our favorite hymns. We prepare the wreaths and light a new candle for every Sunday.  Every day, we open a new window in our Advent calendars looking for a treat or a lesson for the day.  For us who know the outcome of the story -- the entering of God into our broken world -- it is one of our favorite seasons in the church.

December 12th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Dec. 14, 2011


Pray for the Las Pavas community in Colombia, whom CPT has accompanied as 123 families returned to land from which they were displaced. The Colombian government now denies the displacement and is investigating organizations that have supported the community.

IRAQ: CPT Iraq releases survey results on Kurdish civilian opinions toward cross-border attacks


On December 5, 2011 CPT Iraq released the results of a survey that expressed the views of almost 500 Kurdish civilians. The Iraq team along with several partners conducted the survey entitled, “The Opinions and attitudes of the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG’s) civilian population concerning the Turkish and Iranian cross-border military operations” throughout the autumn.  The goal of the survey had several facets:  1) to raise awareness in the Suleymania governate civilian population of the bombing and shelling in the mountain regions, 2) to discover the opinions of the mostly urban population regarding the situation in the rural areas of their semi-autonomous regions and 3) to assist in bringing the opinions of the civilian population about the bombings to the Kurdish Regional Government, the Iraqi Central government and other international organisations. Read the complete report here.