Recent CPTnet stories

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos October 31 - November 6

 

A Stolen Bike 

 
Pictured here: Palestinian boys talk with Israeli Border Police, just after the boys' bike was confiscated by them and handed over to an Israeli settler boy. The settler rode away with the stolen bike. 

(11/03/2017)

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 November 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 November 2017

Pray for the important truth-seeking work of the Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Pray for those who lost their loved ones as they share and relive their grief. Pray that the truth might build a path to healing and transformation.

Recently, during one of the sessions of the Winnipeg portion of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and LGBTQ2S, the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team listened to the difficult account from three Indigenous families who had their sister, mother, daughter, aunt taken from them in a brutal way.

In the last 30 years, anywhere from 1,300 to 4,000 Indigenous women, girls and members of the LGBTQ2S community have been taken from their loved ones. The variance in the numbers is because many disappearances are not reported or counted by authorities. This inquiry is to hear the stories and to examine and report the systemic causes of violence. The inquiry commissioners spent five days in Winnipeg and will go to rural and urban communities across this vast land.

This week we would like to ask you to pray:
- For the families as they relive the stories of their loved ones and the days of grief.
- For the inquiry commissioners as they hear so many stories of horrific deeds done to women, girls and LGBTQ2S people - that they will remain strong to support and listen.
- For all people of Canada - that we will find a way forward to protect the women and to eradicate causes of such violence.

And we pray for the inquiry that it will: Find the truth; honour the truth; and give life to the truth as a path to healing.

Public gathering to remember murdered indigenous women
Photo: Several times a year family members, other loved ones and members of the public gather to remember the Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people who have been murdered or who are still missing.

CPT Steering Committee Introduces Jonathan Shively: NEW INTERIM ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

CPTnet

7 November 2017

CPT INTERNATIONAL: CPT Steering Committee Introduces Jonathan Shively

jonathan

CPT is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Shively (Elgin, Illinois, USA) as Interim Administrative Director.

Jonathan is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren (COB) and has worked for the denomination in various capacities at the administrative level, including eight years as Executive Director of Congregational Life Ministries.  Much of his work has been with the church during times of change and transition.  He holds a certificate in nonprofit management from North Park University and brings a deep, working understanding of organizational structures and administrative processes to CPT at this time.

LESVOS REFLECTION: Into the night sea; waiting for the refugees to arrive across the sea

CPTnet

6 November 2017

LESVOS REFLECTION: Into the night sea; waiting for the refugees to arrive across the sea

by Michael Himlie

As a Christian Peacemaker Team member (CPTer) on Lesvos, I worked on the Night Watch, monitoring vessels in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, and awaiting refugees to arrive on Greek shore in the night. While the other Night Watch volunteers are just as intimately focused on the care, rights, and well-being of the refugees crossing as I am, it was hardly ever talked about on an individual basis as we sat through the night together. Typically the conversations consisted of the number of refugees crossing, the conditions of Moria, changes in Greek or European Union (EU) laws and regulations, where boats need to land or where the smugglers launch them. Never do we talk about refugees as individuals. Perhaps this is a coping mechanism for some of the Night Watch volunteers who have been through many arrivals, some of them traumatic. I still look into the night sea and view individual lives on the other side.

Beach 1

When I look into the Aegean night sea between midnight and morning, I am almost always tired, and as the weather turns unfriendly, I’m rather cold. Through the binoculars I see the glimmering lights of the Turkish coast and a few vessels: cargo, coast guard, fishing boats, and maybe some rubber dinghies carrying refugees. Monitoring the patterns and actions of the coast guard boats gives us a good idea whether there is a refugee boat that the coast guard is harassing, illegally pushing back to Turkey or picking up. Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, I am thinking: “oh what I would do for a cup of coffee.”

However, the night on the Turkish coast, from the stories of refugees, is vastly contrary to that of mine on the Greek side, and far more horrifying. Refugees pay smugglers thousands of Euros each to cross just fifteen kilometers of water. They have no guarantee that they will make it to EU soil. Usually the boat is meant to hold only fifteen people on a river, not 70 or more people in open water. If they are lucky, ahead of them lies a detention center with strict and changing policies for asylum case procedures. But they do not know this.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 2 November 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 2 November 2017

Pray that the new path that Iraq and other countries forced Kurdistan to undertake will not lead to spiraling violence, but rather guide its people to new structures of life and sustainable freedom.   

There is very little hope left in Iraqi Kurdistan. In a month since the referendum on independence, Kurdish people in Iraq lost most of what they have struggled for and gained in 25 years. To punish people who voted in an overwhelming majority that one day they would like to live in an independent country, the Iraqi military alongside brutal militia forces supported by Turkey and Iran invaded and took control of around 50% of the territory Kurdish forces controlled. The reports speak of killed civilians, rape of a mother and daughter, arbitrary arrest of youth, destroyed and pillaged Kurdish homes, and mass displacement. The militias presence threatens also Christian and Yezidi peoples who have just recently returned from their exile caused by ISIS to rebuild their towns.

To isolate Kurdistan and further instill its dominance, Iraq banned all international flights to/from Kurdistan and took control over the land border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria. Turkish airstrikes in the border regions continue to endanger shepherds and farmers. CPT partners fled their villages because of massive Iranian troops movements in the mountains.

The silence and seeming approval of the USA and other foreign powers shocked, and broke hearts of, our partners and friends. Many people blame Massoud Barzani - since two days ago, a former president of Iraqi Kurdistan - for the downfall due to his role in the referendum process and inability to create a united and inclusive government. On the other hand, Barzani's supporters attacked the Parliament building, wounded journalists and torched offices of rival political parties. Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams fear an ignition of a civil war between different Kurdistan's parties and fractions.    

Boy points at Kurdistan flag, text reads: There is no peace without self-governance

As people of peace around the world, let us pray and engage with even more energy in the work for peace. Not a peace that would uphold the oppressive structures and attitudes, dominance or status quo. But peace that will become a moving force of liberation of hearts and minds, of people's dreams, and of land. Let us pray that hostilities between the Iraqi and the Kurdish armies, as well as among various fractions cease. Let us pray for protection of families and communities at risk of being targeted by armed groups. Let us demand that Iraq, the USA, and other powerful governments support the peoples' aspirations for self-governance and dreams of freedom. Please pray for the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team and its partners in these difficult times. New hope has emerged that this new order would ignite new lights of transformation for Kurdistan and its internal structures; that new Kurdistan will rise from the ashes of the old.

Learn more about the situation from the perspective of CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team here and here.