Recent CPTnet stories

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: The different faces of society

CPTnet
8 September 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION:The different faces of society

by: Peggy Faw Gish

“So, what’s it like for the people in Iraqi Kurdistan?” my friends back home ask me over the Internet, now that I’m back on the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team.

My answer would probably start with explaining that, of course, Iraqi Kurdistan and its government, the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) continues to be the most secure and stable area of Iraq. It’s not so far in miles from Mosul, but is fairly removed from the battles with the “Islamic State.” From outside the country, it may appear that life in Iraqi Kurdistan is going smoothly, but from here, one can see that the average Iraqi Kurd is beset with various social challenges.

Girl students with Kurdish flags

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayer for members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society whose lives are in danger for voicing their opposition to the approaching referendum on independence, and for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team in their work. 

Ruling parties of Iraqi Kurdistan prepare the people of the region and of the world for an unprecedented referendum vote on independence of this part of Kurdistan to take place on 25 September. Many who support the Kurdish peoples' century-long struggle for self-determination cherish this historic event. For obvious reasons, Iraq alongside Kurdistan's oppressive neighbors and the USA oppose this political move. However, based on radically different grounds, also many Iraqi Kurds themselves declare: "No for now!"

"No for now" is a movement that a broad group of parliament members, business people, journalists, religious leaders and members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society started. They want independence but not on the current terms as dictated by the today's ruling parties. They ask for an open and direct democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of expression. Iraqi Kurdistan's security forces have used threats, abductions, beatings and other forms of violence to silence them. CPT in Iraqi Kurdistan accompanies some of the members of "No for now" campaign. This week the team published a report about these abuses against freedom to voice publicly one's concerns and opinions.

Please pray for Sherwan Sherwani, a journalist and human rights defender, Farhad Sangawi, a member of Parliament and journalist, Mullah Saman, religious leader and advocate for women rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, and all others who those with weapons attempt to silence. Please pray for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team as they amplify voices and accompany those who speak against this oppression. Please remember in our prayers all those who do not keep silent in the face of tyranny and violence. Let them inspire and encourage us to follow their example.       

Please, read and share the newest CPT Iraqi Kurdistan report.

Two Iraqi Kurdish activists threatened by security forces
Photo: Sherwan Sherwani, journalist and human rights defender (left) and Farhad Sangawi, journalist and a member of Parliament (right), threatened for their involvement in "No for now!" campaign.

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

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 Êzidî, 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 Êzidî 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 Êzidî 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 Êzidî 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