CPT International

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
March 2, 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

 

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have completed, or plan to complete, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 13 July – 13 August 2017 in Chicago, Illinois USA where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are then eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.   

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 15 March 2017; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

CPTnet
18 August 2017
CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

by Sarah Thompson

On behalf of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) community, first and foremost we want to extend our condolences to the families of the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Though Trump’s denouncement of the horrendous “Unite the Right” rally on 12 August 2017 was weak, the Charlottesville community’s response was very strong. From clergy to anti-fascist (Antifa) mobilizers to street medics to students, they all came together to confront the misdirected anger and brutalizing violence of the ultra-nationalist right wing—mostly young white men were in attendance—in the United States.

Already in July, the local clergy group knew they needed more reinforcement and training to prepare for the violence their city would experience at the hands of white supremacists on 12 August.

Banner portraying three women and inscription: "We all belong here. We will defend each other"                                                        Image from the online invitation to "Chicago Interfaith Service in Solidarity with Charlottesville"

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

On the occasion of the international observance of the Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, let us pray for and engage in active solidarity with the indigenous peoples struggle for their rights and protection of land.

This week the world observes the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The indigenous peoples have too often been erased and silenced from the history and the present. The discussions about the future rarely consider indigenous peoples' voices and reality. Yet, their voices and message sound clear and louder each day. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the world and regional power groups adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now is the time to implement it. Especially and more so among the people of faith, who have committed to worship and follow the God of peace, justice and love.

Let us reflect on what actions could we take in solidarity with the indigenous peoples who struggle to reclaim their cultural realities and to protect their lives, land and resources. Let us pray that we might comprehend more clearly what actions do we as people of faith need to take. Many of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams are descendants of settlers on lands of others. And some of us come from communities massacred and dispossessed by others. Let us pray for the renewal of strength and energy for the indigenous organizers and communities who ask for respect for their lives, rights and for just and equal opportunities. Let us pray for those who committed to live and work as allies and in solidarity. Let us carry in our thoughts and prayers members of the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team in Winnipeg, Canada.

Youth from Grassy Narrows

Consider watching a music video from an indigenous community of Grassy Narrows that CPT partners with.

Also, here you may read the latest updates from the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Pray for the Yazidi people of Iraq whose genocide began three years ago. Pray for freedom and restoration of life for several thousand women and children still in the hands of ISIL.  


How to pray for people undergoing a genocide? What can we pray for?

On 3 August 2014, Daesh (known also as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) invaded, pillaged and took control of the city and region of Sinjar (also known as Shingal) in Northern Iraq. Majority of the nearly 170,000 inhabitants of the region identified as members of a unique and ancient ethno-religious group that names themselves ĂŠzidĂ®, or Yazidi.  Daesh massacred around 5,000 men and took into slavery over 7,000 women and children. The rest of the people fled to a nearby mountain where many died of thirst, hunger and temperatures reaching above 48C/120F.

In the following days and weeks over a hundred thousand ĂŠzidĂ® survivors reached the relative safety of Kurdistan region of Iraq, while thousands stayed in displaced peoples' camps across the border in Syria, or on the Sinjar mountain. Thousands of others embarked on a grim journey towards the European Union.
 
Today, most of Shingal, though free of ISIL, lies in ruins and desolate. Several thousand women and children that Daesh kidnapped and enslaved found freedom or death. Several thousand continue to endure slavery and sexual exploitation. Their relatives keep on searching for them.

We might pray for ĂŠzidĂ® women, youth and children who have endured the seemingly unbearable and hope that they may find new life, freedom, healing, justice and peace. We might pray that the families be able to reunite with their loved ones. We can carry in our prayers ĂŠzidĂ® peacemakers who have reclaimed their lives despite displacement and unimaginable suffering and loss, and established initiatives and organizations of support, accompaniment, justice, and communal restoration and healing.   

Yazidi girl recites a poem in commemoration of the genocide

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayer for participants of the 48th CPT's training for peacemakers.

Eleven peacemakers from Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and the USA are training in Chicago, USA to become members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). This one-month-long training is an intense time for those who are discerning their future with the organization. Trainees explore their personal and group strengths and challenges, share deep emotions and experiences and learn new skills needed for the work and life on one of the teams of CPT. The training days are long, busy, tiresome, and filled with stress as well as joy.

Let us pray for the trainees: their emotional and physical well-being, health and resilience as they continue to grow, experience and internally transform. Let us give thanks for their commitment to building partnerships that transform violence and oppressions. Let us also hold in our prayers the trainers and members of the administrative team of CPT who are accompanying and supporting this training in Chicago. Let us also remember when we pray the five peacemakers from Palestine, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan and Netherlands who oppressive structures and personal and health emergencies prevented from being able to come and take part in this training.

Chicago Training team poses in front of a banner "50 years od suffering - US-Israeli occupation of Palestine

On 21 July training participants alongside CPT members and supporters carried out a public witness action to encourage consumers to stop buying products that supoort occupation of Palestine.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 13 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 July 2017

Thanksgiving for the suspension of eviction and prayers for further protection of El Guayabo community.  

Two weeks ago the CPT Colombia team asked for a worldwide prayer support for the El Guayabo community that CPT has accompanied since 2013. The local municipal court issued an order to evict 11 out of 150 families from the land that has sustained their lives for over 30 years. Today, we would like to express our joyful gratitude for the wonderful news of the seemingly impossible turning into reality. Just days before the scheduled eviction, which appeared to be inevitable, the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation, and thus on the basis of the Colombian constitution suspended the eviction.

Let us celebrate with the members of El Guayabo community that they are able to breathe more freely now. Let us give thanks to the Almighty for bringing about this miracle. Let us hold members of El Guayabo in our prayers as they continue the process of resistance and liberation from the local armed actors who want their land and will likely plan to retaliate.  

Read more about this joyful victory of El Guayabo.   

El Guayabo people stand with banners

Photo Credit: Marcos Cualbonk.

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo Eviction Suspended


CPTnet

10 July 2017

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo Eviction Suspended

Last week, the eviction ordered for July 5 in El Guayabo was suspended after the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation.

In January, the local court in Puerto Wilches, the municipal center for El Guayabo, ruled in favor of Rodrigo LĂłpez Henao, in his claim to ownership of the San Felipe parcel of land of which 150 families have been dependent on for the last 30 years. While the residents of El Guayabo were only notified of the eviction on June 30th they have been living with the potential threat of eviction since the ruling, a repetition of the violent and traumatic eviction of the local teacher in June 2014.

Victims of the Colombian armed conflict are guaranteed certain rights under the constitution to prevent a violation of their fundamental rights. The letter sent by the Land delegates of the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices that was addressed to the judge who made the ruling, and the Police Inspector – the public office that enforces evictions – argued that the residents of El Guayabo “have not been guaranteed their right to due process.” If the eviction were to be enforced, the municipal authorities would have to first comply with a list of eight prerequisites pertaining to procedures that guarantee the human rights of persons affected by the armed conflict as required by the Constitutional Court ruling T239/13.

On July 4th, two members of the community visited the Police Inspector’s office in Puerto Wilches to acquire a written statement declaring the suspension of the eviction. The first statement with which they were provided justified the suspension due to the lack of an adequate riot police personnel. Only upon insistence by the farmers was the declaration amended to acknowledge the receipt of official correspondence from Bogotá to suspend the eviction because enforcing it would violate their human rights by omission for not following through with the “procedures of eviction.”

Family in El Guayabo

Photo credit: Caldwell Manners

PALESTINE AND USA REFLECTION: The Struggle to Breathe; state policies and lethal violence target Palestinian people and black US American communities

CPTnet

7 July 2017

PALESTINE AND USA REFLECTION: The Struggle to Breathe; state policies and lethal violence target Palestinian people and black US American communities

by Rachelle Friesen 

Oppression chokes, squeezing communities until breath becomes more and more difficult. It displaces people from their land, pushes people into low-income neighbourhoods where folks struggle to survive in markets of high-unemployment, and contains people through mass incarceration. In targeted communities every day’s existence becomes a battleground to regain breath. 

This is acutely felt in the black community in the United States. The unemployment rate for African Americans is 8.8 percent, double rate of what it is for whites. One in three black men can expect to go to prison in their life time. A black man is 5.1 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white man. In 2016 the police killed more than 250 black people in the USA. 

In Palestine, there is a similar struggle for existence as Israeli policies of displacement push and confine Palestinians into extremely crowded zones. Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian land shrinks, strangling opportunities for farmers. There are 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli detention as one in four Palestinian men will spend time in prison. Walls, checkpoints, and settler-bypass roads contain and threaten communities. Meanwhile in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth, Palestinians are caged while facing a barrage of bombings and shootings from the Israeli Military on a frequent basis.

Struggle to breathe in USA and Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 5 July 2017

In the shadow of big national anniversaries of Canada and the USA, let us remember in our prayers all Indigenous peoples of the Turtle island and their struggle and pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team and its partners.    

This week two countries on the Turtle island celebrate important anniversaries of their existence as sovereign states: 150 years since the creation of Canadian confederation and 241 years since the declaration of independence and formation of the United States of America. The grandiose patriotic celebrations and media coverage rarely remember the impacts of these historic events on the Indigenous peoples who had lived on and cared for these lands and nature for thousands of years. 

Today, let us remember in our prayers the Indigenous nations of the Turtle island who “official histories" have attempted to ignore, erase and silence. Let us pray for the descendants of settlers, who built their country on genocide and land appropriation, because they (and we) are given an opportunity to learn about the past in order to understand the presence. Let us ask the Creator to lead us on the path of transformation to become good allies and partners of future change. Let us pray for the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team and all their partners who play a pivotal role in these efforts.

Decolonization Road sign 

CPT INTERNATIONAL REFLECTION: We don’t have to soldier on; grief is part of Christian peacemaking.

CPTnet

3 July 2017

CPT INTERNATIONAL REFLECTION: We don’t have to soldier on; grief is part of Christian peacemaking.

by Sarah Thompson and Tim Nafziger

Michael J. Sharp was a close friend. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) he was a Mennonite witness, scholar and peacemaker. Over five years, first with Mennonite Central Committee and then with the United Nations (UN) group of experts, he cultivated relationships of trust and respect with people who were experiencing dreadful violence, exploitation because of government corruption, and the oppressive impact of generations of corporate-colonial resource extraction. His teamwork there included demobilizing armed groups, investigating human rights abuses, and reporting to the UN Security Council towards their goal of creating the conditions for peace in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

MJ Sharp with CPTers Sarah Thompson and Jonathan Brenneman
                                                                  MJ Sharp in the middle with Sarah Thompson and CPTer Jonathan Brenneman