Europe

Christian Peacemaker Teams activities in Europe.

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.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 January 2017 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 January 2017   Lesvos

Pray for refugees automatically rejected during the asylum process because of where they came from, or because of their ethnicity.

Many countries that western nations categorize as "safe" are really quite volatile, especially for specific ethnicities within those countries. This includes many countries in Western Africa and the subcontinent of Asia. The refugees from those locations often receive denials based on racial profiling, because they are only "economic migrants" or their countries fall into this "safe" category.  One man who has worked quite closely with the Christian Peacemaker Team on Lesvos is currently in prison facing deportation because of his ethnicity.

 Hesam Shaeri Hesari, one of the hunger strikers on Lesvos, scheduled for imminent deportation. 
Image by Arash Hampay

LESVOS REFLECTION: Alexander's Great Lie

Occasionally when I fly to Lesbos, I travel through Thessaloniki.  Thessaloniki International Airport is situated outside of town with not much to see other than the somewhat barren landscape. One time, as I wandered around the small terminal in search of an outlet to revitalize my dying phone, I came across what might be called a shrine to Alexander the Great and the text of an oath he made to his armies and commanders after his conquest into Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the rest of the known world of his day.



Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 November 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 November 2017

Please pray for more than 7,000 refugees stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos, they ask for protection from approaching winter and freedom to continue their journey. Pray for an Afghani family of a 10-year-old boy who drowned in the sea and a family that may be torn apart by deportation. Please hold in your prayers the CPT team, team's partner Pikpa, and other people who act in love and solidarity.

The situation on Lesbos is rather bleak currently. Winter is approaching, and there are many who only have a summer tent to sleep in. The government is repressive in the manner that it interacts with the refugees on the island. There have been instances of arrests and physical use of force from the side of the police.

The trials of people accused of being human smugglers, many of whom are refugees who ended up steering a boat to safety, have started up again, and the Lesvos team have gotten back into the swing of attending those. The solidarity camp Pikpa is full, and the other camps on the island are overflowing. There are more than 7,000 people in the government run camp of Moria, which was built and can provide for about 2,500. This is only exacerbated by the laws of the European Union which are not allowing people to leave Lesbos. We would invite people to check out the #opentheislands campaign.

While there are many people and families that could really use prayer right now, I would like to specifically highlight a couple stories of families in Pikpa. One family from Afghanistan is very new on the island, and during their crossing one of their children, a 10-year-old son, drowned. The family is being supported by the other residents of Pikpa and the CPT team, but it is still very hard for the family.

The second story is of a family with two young children. The father of this family has been denied his blue stamp, which would allow him to continue on to the main land, twice now. This means that he is facing government issued deportation. This has caused a lot of psychological stress for the family.

We want our right -- Open the islands

LESVOS REFLECTION: Your Longing Hands -- an asylum seeker from the oppressed Arab minority of Iran shares the story of his life and longing to reunite with his mother and sister

CPTnet
24 November 2017
LESVOS REFLECTION: Your Longing Hands -- an asylum seeker from the oppressed Arab minority of Iran shares the story of his life and longing to reunite with his mother and sister

by Rûnbîr Serkepkanî

They do not make coffee with cardamom here in Greece. No one makes coffee like your mother. It’s been five years since you last drank your mother’s coffee with cardamom. Borders have prevented her from filling your soul with the wonderful scent of cardamom every morning.

You were born in Kuwait. You went to Iranian school there where you learnt Farsi. You worked as a carpenter. Your brother was in Ahwaz, Iran where he was defending the oppressed Arabic minority of that region. During the Eid al-Adha he was dressing in his finest Arabic dishdasha dress and wearing his agal head-dress. He was going out with his comrades. Eid al-Adha is the day when all Arabs in Iran go out together, in groups of five or more. It is the day of resistance. It is the day when everyone breaks the silence. The day when everyone prays and protests together. During one of these eids they captured him and put him in ‘The Security Police’ prison. Three years later he was dead “of natural causes.” Young Arabs in Iran do not die because of natural causes. They die from torture, police beatings, and government-sanctioned hangings.

Longing hands and an empty cup

Prayers for Peacemakers, 26 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 26 October 2017

Pray for refugees who are protesting against horrible living conditions and asking for protection as winter comes to Lesvos. Pray that their demands would be heard and for the CPT team that accompanies them.   

CPT-Lesvos accompanies refugees who have been protesting for six days in the main square of Mytilene against their confinement on Lesvos and the inhumane conditions of the overcrowded Moria camp. The winter is quickly approaching and the camp lacks basic services and adequate protection from the cold weather and winds that will hit the island soon. Last winter, people died of hypothermia. 

Snow covering tents in Moria
Refugees in the cold: The EU hotspot Moria on Lesbos, January 7th, 2017. Photo: Twitter / @GiorgosKosmop.


The police have harassed and threatened the protesting refugees and given them false promises. Children, women and men responded by singing. When a heavy rain came pouring down, people of solidarity in Mytilene mobilized to provide raincoats and shelters.

Please pray that the Greek and European Union authorities would hear and acknowledge voices demanding protection and respectful living conditions for people who fled war and other forms of suffering. Pray for the members of CPT on Lesvos who provide accompaniment and daily presence at the protests and advocate for respect and freedom for those who came hoping to find safety and better lives. Let us pray and work together for open and caring hearts and open borders during crossing of which no one else will ever die again.   

Children from Lesvos 

 #Opentheislands  #Winteriscoming

CPT MEDITERRANEAN/LESVOS: Open The Islands – no more dead from cold! -- Solidarity groups and organisations call for urgent action

CPTnet
21 October 2017 
CPT MEDITERRANEAN/LESVOS: Open The Islands – no more dead from cold!

Solidarity groups and organisations call for urgent action as winter is coming for refugees in Greece

Over 100 solidarity groups and organisations -- including Christian Peacemaker Teams project on Lesvos -- are calling for urgent action from the Greek local and national authorities to prevent more refugees from dying in the cold as winter sets in once again. They expect more groups and organisations to join them over the next days and weeks.

Several places woke up on Thursday 12 October to find their neighbourhoods plastered with the emblematic picture of Moria camp on Lesvos, covered in snow last winter, while the collective has also launched a campaign on social media with the hashtag #opentheislands.

Six people who were seeking refuge and protection in Europe died in Moria last winter, their deaths linked to inhumane winter living conditions. Their families are still waiting for answers from the authorities as to how and why their relatives died, and for those who are responsible to be held accountable. Only last Sunday 8 October, a five-year-old Syrian girl died in Moria. The cause of death is yet unknown.

The collective of solidarity groups and organisations, expresses their shock and outrage at the current situation in the islands as winter sets in. Approximately 5000 people currently live in Moria camp, which has a capacity of around 2000. This includes the seriously ill, the disabled, pregnant women, many children including unaccompanied minors, and survivors of torture and other trauma. Many now live in woefully inadequate summer tents and have to sleep on the floor on thin sleeping mats or blankets.

A refugee forced to stay in Moria camp reports about the conditions:

“Living in Moria makes us all sick. In the morning you wake up in a cramped tent or container between other people. It smells disgustingly and I hate that I cannot wash myself properly. In winter it is freezing. Everything is soaked. When you wake up you cannot move your limbs. And you’re covered in ashes. Last winter we burned paper and plastic to stay warm. It is as if we were not human beings.”

 

Poster: No more deaths from cold

LESVOS REFLECTION: Moria is Like a Prison; asylum seekers face unjust and inhuman conditions in the government run camp.

CPTnet

13 October 2017

LESVOS REFLECTION: Moria is Like a Prison; asylum seekers face unjust and inhuman conditions in the government run camp.

By: Michael Himlie

“Moria is like a prison” stated a Kurdish refugee at a demonstration outside the camp. This is a phrase that nearly every refugee I meet and talk with on Lesvos says. “Moria is like a prison” I hear again as I walk alongside the four meter tall fence lined with razor wire, riot police on my other side. As I walk with a resident, or rather a prisoner of Moria, he explains to me the human rights violations and ill treatment of refugees by Greece and the wider European Union. He sleeps in a small room with nine others, receives one meal a day, has limited amounts of water and electricity, and considers a lucky day to be one where there is enough water available to take a quick shower.

Moria

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director

25 August 2017


POSITION OPENING: Interim Administrative Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams – Chicago, Illinois

 Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director. We anticipate the position being for one year; hours and wages to be negotiated. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief description of approach to interim and transitional processes to hiring@cpt.org.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.

Purpose of Interim Administrative Director:

  • To strategize, coordinate, and aid communication within the organization. This person will work alongside the Program Director to help CPT better align with the mission of the organization to confront areas of lethal conflict and undoing oppressions. 

  • To help CPT assess the administrative components of its work and how it connects to the organization as a whole with regard to projects and Steering Committee including: structure, roles, decision making flow, constituency relations. 

  • Bring skilled understanding of organizational structures and models, and how to make organizational change. The interim nature of the role will allow for greater freedom to provide constructive criticism of areas that are weak in relation to fulfilling our mission, vision, and values of partnership which are not in line with stated CPT values of partnership. Their main purpose is to help the organization change into the new model and prepare us for working with our new Administrative Director.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director

25 August 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director 

Dear CPT Supporters,

Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will complete her tenure of service in October 2017. 

Sarah's MLK Speech at Goshen College
                                                                                    Sarah Thompson's MLK Speech at Goshen College, Indiana 2017


As Sarah’s time of service comes to a close, the Steering Committee,  Program Director Milena Rincon, and members of CPT would like to take the opportunity to thank her for her hard work, leadership and commitment to the organization, and the holy work of peacemaking.  Sarah’s term has been marked by vision, intelligence and relentless energy. Her dedication to the well-being of CPT is matched only by her desire to further its reach in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.  During these years Sarah has taken CPT to new places and started new conversations while tending well to the history and relationships that formed the organization.  That is not an easy task, but she performed it with wisdom and grace.  Sarah’s optimism and kindness are inspiring.  She never failed to acknowledge the dignity of every person she interacted with.  We thank her for that gift.

With Gratitude,

 Milena Rincon, Program Director, and the CPT Steering Committee