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 4 July 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers 4 July 2018  Lesvos

Pray for the refugees and volunteers who make a life together at the PIPKA Camp.  

Authorities on Lesvos are threatening to shut the camp down for “hygienic” reasons, although these reasons seem to be a front for political motives.  PIPKA provides refugees and asylum seekers a more dignified and safer environment than the filthy, chaotic and overcrowded Moria camp.

For more information on the threat to PIPKA see this press release.

For actions you can take on social media, see the Facebook page.

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018  Lesvos

Pray for the LGBTIQ+ refugee community on Lesvos who are both living with and who have fled persecution, discrimination, and violence because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

 On Lesvos there are approximately 8,500 officially registered refuges, 6,500 of them are residing in Moria camp, otherwise known as Moria concentration camp. The refugees who fill the barbed-wired walls are living in horrible conditions, have no privacy and no sanitary facilities to speak of. For the LGBTIQ+ community, Moria is a living hell. On a daily basis they have to deal with discrimination, harassment, verbal and sexual violence perpetrated by other refugees, the migration service and the police.

 - “Due to the way I dress, I am already subjected to mockery and homophobic abuse. People go as far calling me a mistake of nature, saying that I am shameful for my country. The same verbal abuse that I suffered in my country—it hasn’t changed here in Moria. […] For gay people like us, Moria is hell.” (Abigail, Cameroon)

 -"Three policemen surrounded me in the street in [Lesvos' principal town] Mytilene and touched my ass, only me, because I am effeminate. They asked if I had a condom with me.“ (Suad, Irak)

 No access to a fair asylum procedure. LGBTIQ+ people have to prove their identity during the asylum procedure during which time they also face homophobic and transphobic sentiments and remarks.

 "The interviewers told me I'm not really gay because I'm 'active'. The interrogators followed an "Islamic rule" that only the receptive partner in anal intercourse, "the one who is taken," is gay.” (Suad, Irak)

 For people who have to keep their sexual orientation secret their entire life out of fear, these things are horribly traumatic. Added to this is the fact that most of the translators also live in the same camps, and are therefore in a position that can endanger the asylum case of the LGBTIQ+ person.

 When the LGBTIQ+ person does not come across as “queer enough” in the initial interview,  the officials do not believe their story, and the person is at risk of getting deported back to Turkey or their home country. Especially the people who come from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cameroon are at risk of getting rejected. They are seen as “economic refugees” and their process gets quickly recorded and closed, while in their home-countries homosexuality is criminalised and LGBTIQ+ people have to deal with discrimination and violence on a daily basis.

 Find out more at Lesvos LGBTIQ+ Refugee Solidarity

LESVOS: CPTer documents minute-by-minute account of fascist attack on Afghan refugees in Sappho Square, Mytilene

The following represents a minute-by-minute report that the Christian Peacemaker Team on Lesvos made of the night of 22-23 April when fascists attacked the Afghan refugee families who were occupying Sappho Square in Mytilene, Lesvos.  The families were nonviolently protesting their internment at Moria Camp, saying it was the "Guantanamo of Europe," and demanding that they be allowed to move forward with their asylum process.

19:10 Police in riot gear made a small circle around refugee protestors. The policeman told a western foreigner (reporter) to move for his safety because something might happen. (Reported by a foreign volunteer).

19:40 The refugee group told the CPTer to stay inside the circle; the men formed two lines to protect the women. 

19:50 A sound of marching and drumming moved toward the square. Some Greek people standing on the other side clapped their hands to welcome the march group. Greek people sang the national anthem (maybe). The leader of the refugee protestors told people to stay quiet when the Greek people sang their national anthem. Two police buses blocked the sight of the refugee protestors.

CALL TO ACTION: Support the Moria 35!

The Lesvos team of CPT Europe would like to invite you to join a campaign in support of 35 African refugees who were arrested arbitrarily by the Greek police, now known as the "Moria 35." They will go to trial trial on April 20th, after ten months of being detained.

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 April 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers  18 April 2018  Lesvos

Pray that the Moria 35 receive justice when they stand trial on 20 April 2018.  If convicted, they could receive sentences of up to ten years and/or deportation.

On 18 July 2017, thirty-five people were arbitrarily arrested during a violent police raid in Moria camp on Lesvos.  That morning a peaceful protest took place in Moria camp, where people demanded that the authorities lift the geographical restriction imposed by the EU-Turkey statement, allow people to travel to mainland Greece, and denounced the inhumane living conditions in the camp. During the demonstration, a confrontation occurred between the police and some of the protesters. An hour after this skirmish had ended, riot police violently raided the African section of the camp and arrested people at random. There is substantial evidence of brutal police violence during the raid, the arrests and in the police station. Many of the people arrested were not even present in Moria camp at the time of the protest. The Moria 35 all face identical criminal charges including arson, resisting arrest, attempted assault, rioting, damage to private property and disturbing the public peace.  No credible or individual evidence appears to exist against any of them.  Authorities have kept them in prison since 18 July. The risk of conviction not only includes a prison sentence, but also an impending threat of deportation.

Members of CPT Lesvos visited some of the people in Chios prison to collect their personal stories in order to counter the state narrative that paints these people as criminals. The team acts as a part of a broader campaign that calls for justice and solidarity for the Moria 35. Pray for justice.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 14 March 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers,  14 March 2018   Lesvos

 

 

Pray for the safety of the 400 migrants who arrived on Lesvos last week, and for the authorities to extend them the kindness and care they need.  Migrants who come to the island and are put in the Moria concentration camp do not receive the medical treatment that people who have made such a difficult journey following severe experiences of violence should get.

Pray for the migrants and inhabitants of islands who fell victim to the unfair and unlawful deal between Turkey and the EU, which resulted in the heavy militarisation of the artificial borders in the Aegean Sea. Thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded in a situation of constant limbo because of the EU-Turkey deal.

Pray for the participants in the Convergence of CPT-Europe that starts today on Lesvos, so that they have clarity and wisdom to make right decisions.

LESVOS: No one is an island

 

On 12 February, in the city center of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, a social gathering remembered the Syrian civilians who lost their lives in a recent bombing . In the past weeks, Turkish-sanctioned airstrikes have killed and injured hundreds of civilians in Afrin, Syria.  The Kurdish civilians who live there are trying to establish social safety by forming an autonomous territory.   The CPT-Lesvos team helped distribute this message and engage nearby pedestrians in conversations about it.

In a conversation about the effects Turkish military aggression has on refugees trying to enter the European Union (EU), one medical practitioner shared their observation about a rescue mission operated by the authorities. Our contact witnessed, for example, the Turkish coast guard approaching the refugees’ dinghy boat in a very intimidating way. Because of the EU-Turkey statement, the Turkish government has received money from EU to stop the refugee boats from entering Greece.  This collaboration between the EU and Turkey is especially worrisome since Turkey is also the country launching the attacks that are causing these people to flee their homeland. There is a direct correlation between the refugee crisis in the EU and the attacks happening in Syria, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 7 February 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers, 7 February 2018 Lesvos

Pray for the liberation of refugees from the brutal violence that the EU and Turkey subject them to. Pray for the transformation of the oppressive and violent situation on the Greek Islands to a peaceful and just togetherness.

LESVOS: Moria’s 5 star review

Moria in winter

It was time for my trip to the sauna in one of Europe's best hotels, Moria, which is a well-known hotel for tourists who use the crowded boats to get into the EU.

I was one of these tourists.

A year after leaving Syria my wife and I felt that we missed a sense of adventure in our lives. We were bored. As you may know, when you get bored of the day-to-day routine in your life, you usually take a boat with sixty-one other bored people to go and discover the world.